The rodeo at the Calgary Stampede is undergoing some changes for the upcoming year.

The board announced on Wednesday that they are adjusting a few things in an effort to increase safety measures.

"The safety of all participants in the Calgary Stampede, both animal and humans, is our number one priority and always has been", says Paul Rosenberg, vice president, Programming, Calgary Stampede. "These changes help insure that rodeo and chuckwagon racing at the Calgary Stampede remain as two of the most exciting sports in the world."

The changes will start even before the big event begins. A team of vets will check out the horses when they arrive and will determine if they are fit to compete.

Chuckwagon drivers will also have to submit a list of horses for the competition and those horses will be subject to ongoing vet checks. A horse will be scratched for that evening, if it is found not fit to compete. Horses will also be re-checked after each race.

The chuckwagons will now operate with only two outriders per team, as opposed to four, for all nine heats.

In addition, a mandatory rest period will be instituted for the horses. Each horse will require at least one rest day in four and cannot run on more than three consecutive days.

The new outrider format will align itself with the racing formats of both the World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) and the Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association (CPCA).

A significant rule change will also happen in the tie-down roping and steer wrestling events. A judge will have the discretion of calling a re-run or a no-time if a calf or steer shows an obvious injury during competition.

The Stampede has also made changes to track maintenance and two additional harrowings will be completed with the option of adding water to the track surface. Harrowing would take place after heats 2, 4, 6 and 8 and competitors will rotate heats to allow all drivers to compete on a freshly groomed surface.

The new rules and format changes will be in effect for The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, July 8-17.