The board for Alaska’s most famous sled dog race has approved a rule change that will kick mushers out of the race if their dogs die while on the trail.
The Iditarod Trail Committee board debated and eventually approved the change at its meeting in Anchorage on Friday.
Officials added the caveat that if a dog’s death “was caused solely by unforeseeable forces,” then a musher may be allowed to stay in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
The rules previously allowed the decision of withdrawing a musher to be left up to the race marshal and the marshal’s judges.
The board also approved a change that caps teams at 14 dogs at the starting line. Each team was previously allowed up to 16 dogs.