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- About the sport of rodeo -

Is this your first rodeo? Don’t fret, we’re here to help you out!

Rodeo traces its roots to ranching and the great traditions of the American West, evolving from the practical skills required by cowboys and ranchers to the sport we’ve come to know today. Showcasing the daring athleticism of both riders and livestock, rodeo competitions emerged as a means for cowboys to demonstrate their horsemanship and roping abilities, reflecting the real-life challenges they faced on the open range. Today, rodeo has grown into a dynamic and competitive sport celebrated for its mix of skill, courage, and the deep connection between humans and animals.

Traditional events such as bull riding, bronc riding, calf roping, and barrel racing demand a combination of strength, agility, and sheer grit from contestants. The timeless relationship between rider and animal is a key theme, emphasizing the mutual respect and trust that has existed for centuries.

Beyond the competitive arena, rodeo holds cultural significance to all who live or experience the West and it’s deep rooted traditions. Rodeo events are not only athletic competitions, but also celebrations of a rich heritage that pays homage to the cowboy way of life.

- Roughstock -

Bareback, Saddle Bronc, and Bull Riding

Won by earning the highest score, must ride one-handed for 8 seconds to qualify.

Scoring

Bull Riding

Bull Riding

A bull is scored from 1-50 points based on:

  • Front End Drop
  • Backspin
  • Kick
  • Directional Changes

The Rider is scored from 1-50 points based on:

  • Body Position
  • Position of the Free Hand
  • Leg motion
  • Not touching the bull with the free hand
Saddle Bronc

Saddle Bronc

A horse is scored 1-50 points based on:

  • Front End Drop
  • High Kick

A rider must “Mark Out” (keep his boots above the horse’s shoulders until the front legs drop on the first jump) and is scored from 1-50 points based on:

  • Leg Height
  • Toes pointed out
  • Leg Motion
  • Not touching the horse with the free hand
Bareback Horse Riding

Bareback

A horse is scored 1-50 points based on:

  • Front End Drop
  • High Kick

A rider must “Mark Out” (keep his boots above the horse’s shoulders until the front legs drop on the first jump) and is scored from 1-50 points based on:

  • Leg Height
  • Toes pointed out
  • Control
  • Not touching the horse with the free hand

- Timed Events -

Team Roping, Barrel Racing, and Breakaway

Won by earning the fastest time, a clean run is considered without any applicable penalties.

Scoring

Team Roping Event

Team Roping

A team event, the header goes first and must rope the steer in one of 3 ways:

  • Around both horns
  • Half a head (one horn and the head)
  • Around the neck

The header then turns the steer and the heeler must rope both hind feed.

Penalties are incurred for loops slipping off, or if the header breaks the barrier (crosses the predetermined line too early). Either member failing to rope the steer results in a no-time (no score).

BREAKAWAY (TIE DOWN) ROPING

Breakaway (Tie Down) Roping

The contestant and their horse start in a roping box, behind a barrier, a flag attached to their rope. The roper chases the calf on horseback and throws their loop to catch the calf. The clock stops to record the final time as soon as the flag attached to the rope breaks away from the roper’s saddle.

Penalties are incurred for breaking the barrier or the rope’s loop catching any part of the calf other than the head, and failing to catch the calf results in a no-time (no score).

BARREL RACING

Barrel Racing

Barrel racing uses timers and three barrels set in a triangular pattern. The objective is to complete the course in the correct pattern (they can start right or left, but must go side to side then to the top middle barrel) in the shortest time possible without knocking over any barrels.

A 5-second penalty is added to the contestant’s time for any barrel that is knocked over. If the contestant breaks the pattern they are given a no time.

Ready to give it a go?

Sign up to compete in the next Valley View Rodeo!

Contestants Page