Some Questions on Rodeo events...
I'm just going to get started lol title says it all :p
1. How is bareback/saddle bronc riding judged?
2. Why do outriders throw a barrel into the back of a chuck wagon?
3. Why are outriders even running?
4. Why do you never see ladies bronc/steer riding and wrestling?
5. How is steer riding judged?
6. Why do people wear hockey helmets when riding steers and not when riding broncs?
I might come up with more questions later, but I was watching some rodeos on tv and thought I might as well learn about it.
Chuckwagon races originated way back when chuckwagons with horses or mules were used on roundups, sometimes several outfits running the same roundup, with a central ranch in the range and headquarters for supplies, etc. After the cattle were gathered, and separated, and sent on to their respective homes, the wagons would often race to headquarters. The now outriders were then cook's helpers, horse wranglers and night riders. The original version included packing the kitchen, breaking cook's camp which inclueded the eating tent, fly over the end of the wagon, several large dutch ovens (the stove), and the assorted large cooking utinsels required by outdoor cooking. One man always held the team, and when the last item was packed in the wagon, the team took of for headquarters. The winner of the race was the first one to arrive with all items intact. Prizes, if any, would include whiskey, sides of beef, pigs, flour, potatoes, tobacco, etc; things essential to the well-being of everyone involved.
If you were watching one on TV, it most likely was a PRCA (professional rodeo cowboys association) sanctioned rodeo where the only event women are allowed to compete is in the barrel racing if it is sanctioned by the WPRA (Women's Professional Rodeo Association).
However, the WPRA holds its own world finals with all the rodeo events being only for women! And there are many other rodeo organizations throughout the country that allow women to compete in roughstock too.
Helmets are not required in all events or in all rodeo associations. So if they are not required, it is up to the contestant to decide if he (or she) wants to wear one.
In timed events (calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping), cattle are given a head start from the chute. They de-activate a headstart “barrier” when a rope around their necks pulls a pin and then breaks away. If a contestant's horse hits the rope barrier before this pin is pulled, a pressure point in the barrier breaks, and a signal from the barrier judge indicates a 10-second "broke the barrier" penalty.
In saddle bronc and bareback riding, two of the three roughstock events, the cowboy must have his feet ahead of the horse's shoulders, his spurs touching the horse, when the animal's front feet touch the ground the first jump from the chute. This is called "marking out". Failure to comply means disqualification. In bull riding, the third roughstock event, this rule is not applied.
Bull Riding Scored on body control and balance. Spurring is not required although cowboys can if they choose (resulting in a higher score). They ride with just a flat-braided rope pulled tight that is not tied or cinches around the bull; it is just held fast by the cowboy's riding hand. They must remain mouted on the bull with one leg on each side for a full 8 seconds to receive a score. Up to 50 points can be earned by both the bull and the rider, so that a perfect score on both parties would earn a 100 (only happened once in PRCA history, to my knowledge).
Tie Down Roping After the cowboy nods that he is ready, the calf is released and must release the barrier before the horse crosses the same barrier. The horse must quickly catch up to the calf, position the cowboy to rope it, then maintain tension on the rope as the cowboy dismounts, throws the calf and ties any three of its legs (usually two hind and one front). The tie must remain secure for six seconds after the roper remounts and permits the horse to slacken the rope.
Steer Wrestling The barrier rule applies here too. For the takedown, one horn is pushed low, the other lifted, nose tilted high. At about the time their horses reach the tail of the hard-running steer, the hazer (a mounted helper for the wrestler) keeps the steer moving in a straight line while the steer wrestler, from the opposite side, begins transferring his weight from his horse to the steer. His horse runs on past, carrying the cowboy up to the horns and taking his feet out in front of the steer, in position for the cowboy to slow the steer, turn him, and take him to the ground.
Bareback Riding Scored on the front-end spurring motion. The trick is to time the spurring motion with the horse's bucking action. When the horse leaves the ground, the cowboy jerks his knees and his spurs come up to the shoulders. His feet fly up, out and away from the horse. For the cowboy to stay in control, his feet must be back to the shoulders and against the neck when the horse's front feet come back to the ground. The more "excessive" the cowboy can spur while staying in control, the higher the score.
Team Roping The barrier rule is applied here, for the header (the first roper) The header rides after the steer and ropes the horns or head, takes a dally (wraps the rope) around his saddle horn and turns his horse away, leading the steer. A second roper, the heeler, rides in and ropes the hind legs and takes his dally. In an instant, the horses face the steer, the ropes come snug, and a judge signals time. If only one hind leg is caught, a 5-second penalty is added.
Barrel Racing The three barrels are “run” in a cloverleaf pattern requiring quick turns at high speed to win. Either a right turn or a left turn is legal to start the pattern. Times are so fast and close they're measured in hundredths of a second. A tipped barrel results in a 5-second penalty.
Saddle Bronc Riding Scored on sweeping, front-and -back spurring motion, buckrein held high. Ideally, the cowboy falls into a stylish rhythm with the horse, feet thrust full forward, toes turned out in the stirrups, as the bronc's front feet touch the ground. Then as the horse jumps high, the rider crooks his knees, drawing his feet back, toes still turned out, along the sides until his spurs strike the back of the saddle. The feet go forward again as the bronc descends.
Why helmets are often worn in the bull riding is that the bull is quite capable of swinging his head back as his butt is high in the air. Certain bulls get a reputation for this and no one wants their face caved in so they wear face protection. Imagine getting a face plant from a 1500lb bull.
^^Exactly Saddlebag. There was a bull a few years ago named Bodacious. He is the one that demolished Tuff Hedeman's (and several others') face because he picked up the habit of throwing cowboys off center to the front and then bringing his head back to bash them in the face. He is one of the main reasons why wearing helmets has become so popular in recent years.
Roughstock is rough.
But not all cowboys wear helmets for bull riding because most associations do not require it. So it's personal choice. And you rarely see a cowboy wearing a helmet for the bareback or saddlebronc events, even though head injuries happen there too.
Vests used to be optional for bull riding. Now they are required. I hope helmets make that movement toward being required too.
I wear my helmet every single time I mount up on my horse .... and that's not roughstock!!
I tried to look their rulebook up online but I couldn't get access to it without being a member. Do you have access? I guess if that is true, I would have assumed I'd see at least a couple girls doing team roping or something like that, but I cannot say I have ever seen that.
Women can have a card with the PRCA to compete in roughstock events; however, not very many do.
According to PRCA officials:
"Women are allowed to ride bulls, and would be judged and scored by the same standards as the men. But at this time, no women ride bulls with the association. Rides must last 8 seconds, and one hand must be free at all times. The same applies for bareback broncs and saddle broncs."
"It is rare to find a woman who is so willing to face an athletic challenge and then go on to conquer it well enough to make it a lifestyle. That, however, is exactly what Kaila Mussell did. Mussell is the only female to have her card in saddlebronc riding."
The rest of the story is here.
PBR is another big association that has a type of roughstock riding (bulls). They also let women compete. As long as you are 18 years old, they don't care whether you are male or female. The same rings true for the PRCA. Even though the WPRA has roughstock divisions, that doesn't mean that is the only option for women to ride.
IMO- I would rather ride with the PRCA over the WPRA. In the PRCA you compete against guys and go by their rules. In the WPRA you go by a completely different set of rules that just makes it less of a challenge.
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