Steer Wrestling has become known as the "Big Mans Event", with most contestants standing over 6 foot tall and weighing over 220 pounds. But there are lots of smaller guys that can equally good by using good technique. But, whether the cowboy is big or small, a lot of their success depends of the horse and their partner called a Hazer. The Hazers job is to try and keep the steer running in a straight line so the steer wrestler has a chance to get off his horse in good shape.
(Bulldogging) was invented by a Black Cowboy named Bill Pickett. He got the idea from watching how the bulldogs would grab a steer by the nose and hold it. He would ride alongside the running steer, jump off onto its head, take it by the horns and then bite the steer on the nose and throw it to the ground.
This has been voted The Most Dangerous Sport on Earth! This is a contest between men weighing 150 pounds, and bulls that weigh 1200-2000 pounds. This is not a contest of strength. The bull rider must match moves against the bull in order to stay on top. And as the cowboys learn how to stay on, the bulls learn certain things to buck the cowboys off.
The bull rider's equipment consists of a leather glove, a flat plaited rope that goes around the bull, a set of bells that add weight to the rope and help it to fall off after the ride, spurs for added grip with the cowboy's heels, a protective vest and sometimes a helmet.
The cowboy is only allowed to use one hand to hold on and tries to stay on for 8 seconds. If he touches the bull with his free hand, or his hand comes out of his rope before the 8 seconds is up, he is disqualified.
In the Bareback Riding, The cowboy wedges one gloved hand into the handle of a bareback rigging which looks the handle of a suitcase and is made of rawhide. The fit is so tight that he has to pull one had through with the other.
When he nods his head to let the horse out of the chute, he must have the heels of his boots over the point of the horse’s shoulders as its feet hit the ground on the horse’s first jump. This is called the “Mark out” and gives the horse the advantage. The rider is then judges on how well he stays in rhythm with the horse by spurring from the shoulder to the handle on his rigging. He is requires to stay on for 8 seconds, and not touch the horse or himself with his free hand in order to receive a score.
(Calf Roping) is one of the events that originated from one of the jobs that cowboys would do in the course of daily ranch work. Before all the equipment we use today to doctor and brand cattle, the cowboy would have to rope cattle out in the open, jump off his horse, and tie the cattle down.
In this event, the cowboy ropes the calf from his horse at top speed. He dismounts, runs to the calf, puts it on the ground and must tie at least 3 of its legs then raise his hands in the air (like he just don't care) to stop the clock. He must then get back on his horse and put slack in the rope. The calf must stay tied for 6 seconds in order for the cowboy to receive a time.
Fast Horses and Pretty Women, Ladies Barrel Racing is the Kentucky Derby of rodeo. 3 barrels are placed in a triangle. The women enter the arena at top speed and must go around the barrels in a Cloverleaf pattern, and then back across the time line. Like other timed events, the fastest time wins. But, the cowgirls can get a 5 second penalty added to their time for each barrel they might knock down.
The horses these ladies ride are not your average horse. Many of them are either ex-race horses that have won thousands of dollars on the racetrack, or have come from breeding programs that specialize in raising fast horses. Some of these horses cost $5000 to $100,000 as babies, and there’s at least a 2 year wait before they are old enough to start riding to see if they will have the speed to be a top contender.
This event looks a lot like the Steer Wrestling event, except instead of throwing the steer to the ground, the object is for the contestant to pull a strip of tape from the steers back.
The ladies start behind a barrier and have a hazer to help keep the steer running straight. They ride alongside the steer, reach down and pull the strip of tape from the steers back and raise it above their head to stop the clock. Sometimes these ladies have times in just over one second!