Exactly how well do you understand rodeo?

Expert rodeo action consists of two sorts of competitors-- roughstock events as well as timed occasions. Take a look at the list of professional rodeo events listed below with a deep-dive into the what, why as well as how of each event.

Roughstock Events

In the roughstock events – bareback ridingsaddle bronc riding, and bull riding – a contestant’s score is equally dependent upon his performance and the animal’s performance. In order to earn a qualified score, the cowboy, while using only one hand, must stay aboard a bucking horse or bull for eight seconds. If the rider touches the animal with his free hand, he is disqualified.

In saddle bronc and bareback riding, cowboys must mark out their horses; that is, they must exit the chute with their spurs set above the horse’s shoulders and hold them there until the horse’s front feet hit the ground after its first jump. Failing to do so results in disqualification.

During the regular season, two judges each score a cowboy’s qualified ride by awarding 0 to 25 points for the animal’s performance and 0 to 25 points for the rider’s performance. The judges’ scores are combined to determine the contestant’s score. A perfect score is 100 points.

Timed Events

In the timed events – tie-down ropingsteer wrestlingteam roping, and women’s barrel racing – a contestant’s goal is to post the fastest time in his event.

In the cattle events, calves and steers are allowed a head start. The competitor, on horseback, starts in a three‐sided fenced area called a box. The fourth side opens into the arena. A rope barrier is stretched across that opening and tied to the calf or steer. Once the calf or steer reaches the head-start point– predetermined by the size of the arena – the barrier is automatically released. If a cowboy breaks that barrier before it is released, he is assessed a 10‐second penalty.

In women’s barrel racing, a horse and rider follow a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels and then dash across the finish line. A five-second penalty is assessed for each barrel that is tipped over during the contestant's run.

Saddle Bronc

This classic performance event evolved from a cowboy’s job of breaking and training wild horses to be used on the ranches and ranges of the Old West. Tie rider mounts a wild, bucking horse and attempts to ride him in the arena for 8 seconds. This event is a true test of the rider’s skill, strength, and understanding of the bronc’s natural movements in order to tame the horse into a smooth ride.

Steer Wrestling

The steer wrestling event originates from Bill Pickett’s performance at the Real Wild West show in the early 1900s where there is a runaway steer, Pickett roped ’em and jumped off his horse to wrassle it to the ground. Also known as bulldogging, this method of capturing a steer, up to two times bigger than the cowboys themselves, and running up to 30 miles per hour, has evolved into a fast-paced team roping event that is sure to have adrenaline pumping through your body.

Bareback Bronc Riding

Back in the old days, when a rancher needed a horse, they had to track down a wild one, hop on, and hang on for dear life as the house became accustomed to riding. Mastering the ability to tame one of the fastest, wildest creatures on earth, with just one hand, meant a cowboy would always be able to get back to his home on the range. A bareback rider is judged on their spuring technique in combination with the bronc’s unique bucking pattern and is one of the most difficult performance events for a cowboy to master, but when they do, the payout is huge.

Team Roping

In order to brand or care for a temperamental steer, too difficult for one man to handle, the cow would be roped by two cowboys. This true team event is a display of years of hard work, determination, and the ability for two cowboys and their horses to cooperate. When you see a team rope a steer in less than 60 seconds, it’s a showcase of their determination, collaboration, and mastery of a necessary skill to be successful on a ranch.

Tie Down Roping

Tie-down roping is a method to safely catch and restrain a calf for branding or doctoring. When a cowboy is left alone in a pasture without a fence or corral, all they need is their sturdy rope and trusty steed to get the job done. This event evolved as cowboys would race each other to see who’s horse and skills could capture the calf the quickest; the winner walks home with the pride and knowledge that they can get the job done better than the rest of ‘em.

Barrel Racing

You’ll be amazed at the blazing speed and precision displayed by cowgirls and their horses during the Barrel Racing event. It takes skill, guts, and athleticism to turn tightly around three barrels placed in the arena. You’ll be able to see some of the best female riders in the nation compete to finish the cloverleaf pattern for the fastest time and all the glory at the Snake River Stampede Rodeo.

Bull Riding

Are you ready to experience eight seconds of pure adrenaline? Bull riding is one of the toughest events in professional rodeo, yet it’s purely a form of entertainment born from the daily challenges and egos of cowboys to one-up each other. This dangerous, exciting, and physically demanding sport is only one for the most courageous and mentally tough cowboys who dare to compete at the Snake River Stampede.

Breakaway Roping

"Breakaway roping is a great exhibition of the partnership between a woman and her horse. Their athleticism and quick reflexes working together are a must,” says Keri Smith of Caldwell who competes locally.

"A roping horse needs to be quick-footed, have explosive speed and be able to stop on a dime. The rider, working in tandem, swings her rope across the line taking her first shot. Then pitch the slack so the rope breaks away from the saddle. It's so much happening in the blink of an eye.”

Each contestant will rope one head during the first 5 performances or slack competition. The fastest 12 women return for the finals on Saturday to determine the champion.


July 16-20, 2024