RODEO 101 - TIE-DOWN ROPING

< BACK

Tie-down roping is an event that evolved from everyday duties where cowhands had to rope and immobilize calves quickly to doctor or brand them. Ranch hands prided themselves on this skill and soon turned their work into informal contests. Today, the cowboy on horseback starts from a box, a three-sided fenced area adjacent to the chute holding the calf. The fourth side of the box opens into the arena. The calf receives a head start that is determined by the length of the arena. One end of a breakaway rope barrier is looped around the calf’s neck and stretched across the open end of the box. When the calf reaches its advantage point, the barrier is released. If the roper breaks the barrier before the calf reaches its head start, a 10-second penalty is given. The horse is trained to come to a stop as soon as the cowboy throws his loop and catches the calf. The cowboy then dismounts, sprints to the calf and flanks it. If the calf is not standing when the cowboy reaches it, he must allow the calf to get back on its feet before flanking it. After the calf is flanked, the roper ties any three legs together with a pigging string - a short, looped rope he clenches in his teeth during the run. Meanwhile, his horse must pull back hard enough to eliminate any slack in the rope, but not so hard as to drag the calf. When the roper finishes tying the calf, he throws his hands in the air as a signal to the judge that he‘s done. The roper then remounts his horse, rides forward to create slack in the rope and waits six seconds. If the calf kicks free, no score is received.

< BACK