Rodeo Events 101: Steer Wrestling

Steer wrestling, often referred to as “bulldogging,” is a thrilling rodeo event that showcases the strength, skill, and sheer bravery of both the cowboy and his trusty horse. This adrenaline-pumping discipline has deep roots in the American West and continues to captivate rodeo enthusiasts worldwide.

The Rules of Steer Wrestling

Steer wrestling is a timed event where a cowboy, aided by a hazer (another rider), aims to wrestle a sprinting steer to the ground. Here are the key rules:

  1. Preparation: The event begins with the cowboy and his horse positioned in a box, a small enclosure adjacent to the steer’s chute. The steer is released, and the clock starts as soon as the steer reaches a predetermined distance.
  2. Chase and Approach: The cowboy and his horse then give chase to the sprinting steer. Timing is crucial, as the cowboy must position his horse alongside the steer and match its speed.
  3. Wrestling Technique: Once in position, the cowboy leans from his horse, grasps the steer’s horns, and employs a combination of strength and technique to halt the steer’s forward momentum.
  4. Balance and Precision: With one hand gripping the steer’s horns and the other on its neck, the cowboy must use his body weight and leverage to bring the steer to a complete stop.
  5. Safety and Animal Welfare: The safety of both the cowboy and the steer is paramount. Rodeo associations enforce strict guidelines to ensure the humane treatment of animals and the wellbeing of participants.
  6. Timing and Scoring: The clock stops when the steer is on the ground with all four feet pointing in the same direction. The fastest time wins, and penalties are assessed for infractions such as breaking the barrier at the start or incomplete maneuvers.

How to Get Into Steer Wrestling

Becoming a steer wrestler requires dedication, physical fitness, and a deep respect for the rodeo tradition. Here are steps to get started:

  1. Horsemanship: Develop strong horsemanship skills. Understanding and effectively communicating with your horse is crucial for a successful steer wrestling career.
  2. Strength and Conditioning: Steer wrestling demands a combination of upper-body strength, agility, and endurance. Engage in regular strength and conditioning exercises to build the necessary muscle and stamina.
  3. Learn from Experts: Seek guidance from experienced steer wrestlers or rodeo trainers. They can provide valuable insights into technique, safety, and strategy.
  4. Safety First: Prioritize safety for both yourself and the animals involved. Familiarize yourself with rodeo regulations and guidelines to ensure responsible and humane participation.
  5. Practice, Practice, Practice: Regular practice is essential. Set up simulated runs, work on your wrestling technique, and refine your timing and coordination.
  6. Participate in Local Rodeos: Start by entering local rodeo events. This provides valuable experience and allows you to gauge your progress against seasoned competitors.
  7. Join Rodeo Associations: Consider becoming a member of rodeo associations, which offer networking opportunities, access to professional coaching, and participation in sanctioned events.

Steer wrestling is a demanding and exhilarating rodeo discipline that embodies the rugged spirit of the American West. With dedication, training, and a deep appreciation for the tradition, aspiring steer wrestlers can embark on a thrilling journey in this iconic rodeo event. Remember, it’s not just about taming the steer, but also about respecting the heritage and values that steer wrestling represents.

Looking for more information on rodeo events? Check out all of our Rodeo 101 blog posts.

Rodeo Events 101: Bull Riding

Bull riding, the heart-pounding sport that demands both skill and bravery, has captured the imagination of rodeo enthusiasts around the world. This thrilling event showcases the raw power of these magnificent creatures and the indomitable spirit of the cowboys who ride them. In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating world of bull riding, exploring its history, rules, and how you can get started in this adrenaline-fueled sport.


Bull riding has deep roots in American rodeo culture, tracing back to the early 19th century. It originated from the practices of Mexican vaqueros and American cowboys who honed their skills in the challenging task of breaking wild horses. As these riders gained expertise, they soon turned their attention to taming the fierce bulls that inhabited the untamed western lands. In the late 1800s, bull riding became a prominent feature of rodeo competitions. It grew in popularity and quickly became one of the main attractions at various rodeo events. Over time, the sport evolved, refining its rules and techniques to ensure the safety of both riders and animals. Today, bull riding is not only a staple of professional rodeo circuits but has also gained international recognition as a thrilling spectator sport.

PRCA Bull Riding World Champions


Bull riding follows a set of rules designed to ensure fair competition and maintain the safety of the participants. The objective is simple but far from easy – stay mounted on a bucking bull for a full 8 seconds. The rider must hold on with only one hand and must not touch the bull, themselves, or their equipment with their free hand. The rider is judged on their ability to maintain control, style, and the degree of difficulty of the bull they are matched with. During a ride, the bull is also evaluated based on its performance, including its bucking style, power, and agility. Judges award scores to both the rider and the bull, combining them to determine the overall outcome. It takes immense skill, balance, and determination to master the art of bull riding and achieve top scores.

How is Bull Riding Scored?

How to Get Into Bull Riding

If you’re captivated by the thrill of bull riding and want to try your hand at this daring sport, here are a few steps to get you started.

  1. Build Physical Fitness: Bull riding demands tremendous strength, agility, and balance. Engage in a comprehensive fitness routine that includes cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and core stability exercises to develop the physical attributes required for bull riding.
  2. Find a Mentor: Seek out experienced bull riders or professional trainers who can guide you through the intricacies of the sport. Learning from someone with practical knowledge and expertise will help you progress more quickly and safely.
  3. Practice: Before facing the real deal, familiarize yourself with the movement and sensation of riding a bull by practicing on mechanical bulls. These training devices simulate the bucking motion, allowing you to hone your technique and build confidence.
  4. Safety First: Always prioritize safety when participating in bull riding. Wear the appropriate safety gear, including a well-fitted helmet, protective vest, gloves, and boots. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the emergency procedures and protocols in place at rodeo events.
  5. Start Small: Begin with amateur or local rodeo events to gain experience and gradually work your way up to more competitive levels. This will give you the opportunity to learn from seasoned riders, observe various bull riding styles, and refine your skills.
Bull Riding Rules & History

Gear You Will Need

  • Helmet, Vest, Chaps, Boots, Gloves, Spurs, Bull riding Rope

Bull riding is not for the faint of heart, but for those who are willing to embrace the challenge, it offers a thrilling and rewarding experience. Remember, success in bull riding comes with practice, perseverance, and a whole lot of determination. So, saddle up, hold on tight, and prepare for the ride of your life!

Looking for more information on rodeo events? Check out our Rodeo 101 Series on Barrel Racing and Tie Down Roping!

Rodeo Events 101: Exploring the History and Rules of Barrel Racing

Barrel racing, a thrilling and fast-paced equestrian sport has captured the hearts of horse enthusiasts all around the world. The combination of speed, agility, and precision required in barrel racing makes it an exhilarating spectacle to witness. In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating history of barrel racing and explore the rules that govern this exciting sport.

What is Barrel Racing

Barrel Racing is the ultimate women’s sport in the world of rodeo. In fact, in the world of Pro Rodeo, the women have their own professional association that tracks and hosts events across the country.

Barrel Racing Rules

The objective is fairly simple: riders must complete a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels placed in a triangular formation as quickly as possible. However, there are some important rules that riders must follow to ensure a fair and safe competition.


Penalties can determine victory or defeat in barrel racing. There are two penalties in this sport. The first penalty occurs when a barrel is knocked over, disrupting the pattern. This can result in an additional five seconds being added to the total racing time. However, if the rider manages to catch the falling barrel before it hits the ground, no penalty is incurred. The second penalty is given for a broken pattern, which leads to complete disqualification.

  • All three barrels must remain standing
  • If a barrel is knocked down five seconds are added to the overall time
  • The competitor must stay within the pattern, if the pattern is broken at any time for any reason, it will result in a no-time.

Cloverleaf Pattern

The barrels are set up in a triangular formation, with the first barrel usually placed on the left, the second barrel on the right, and the third barrel at the opposite end from the first. Riders must complete the pattern by making a full turn around each barrel in a specific order, without knocking any of the barrels over. The times will vary depending on the arena. For example, the NFR barrel pattern is much smaller than the barrel pattern at Pendleton Rodeo.

How to Start Barrel Racing

To become the top barrel racer in the sport, you need extensive training, discipline, and control. Speed alone is not everything, as mastering the pattern is essential. Practice will help you gain momentum. Finding a qualified trainer, whether they are an experienced barrel racer or an instructor, is crucial for building a solid foundation. In addition to the training, you will need a four-legged partner in crime that can help take you to the finish line. You are only half of the equation, so make sure to find a horse that falls within your experience level.

Barrel Racing Horses

As mentioned above, you are only half of the equation when it comes to barrel racing. Your horse is the single most important thing when it comes to being successful in this sport. While genetics most definitely play a role in the quality of a barrel horse, there are horses with no proven bloodlines that have been successful in barrel racing as well. It really depends on how they have been trained and how they partner with their rider. Here are some qualities you generally want to see in barrel racing horses

  • Endurance: It takes a lot to run in perfect form around three barrels for the fastest time. Keeping your horses legged up and endurance up, will be crucial to your success.
  • Racing Style: You will need to determine how your horse runs best, whether they are a pusher or a free runner. Essentially a push-style horse is a horse you can push around the pattern and to most riders, they are easier to control. Free runners are just like they sound, they have more raw speed but are harder to control.
  • Attitude: Just like people, some people are made for extreme sports and some are not. Some horses were made to run and some were not. It is so important to have a horse that WANTS to do this with you. If your horse balks or starts to show signs of distaste, it might be time to try something else.


Barrel racing can trace its roots back to the early 1930s when it emerged as a popular event at rodeos in the United States. It was primarily designed as a way to showcase the skills of female riders, breaking traditional gender barriers in the world of rodeo. The origins of barrel racing are not fully known, as there is no definitive story or individual that can trace its beginnings. However, there is a general understanding of how it evolved into a competitive sport. The sport began to gain popularity in Texas during the early 1900s. It wasn’t until the 1940s that barrel racing started being judged based on the shortest time rather than the appearance of the rider and horse. During this time, women were also offered prize money instead of gifts for their participation. As barrel racing continues to grow in terms of participants, it also continues to capture the hearts of rodeo fans who passionately support these cowgirls.

World Records

Most NFR Qualifications

  • Charmayne James: 19 Qualifications | (1984-2002)

Most Money Won at the NFR

  • Sherry Cervi: $146,100 | 2009

Fastest Time at the NFR in Las Vegas

  • 2009 | Shervi Cervi: 13.60

Barrel racing is an exhilarating sport that requires a deep bond between horse and rider. The speed, precision, and agility displayed by both horse and rider make it a truly awe-inspiring experience for spectators.

Whether you are a seasoned barrel racer or a curious spectator, understanding the history and rules of this thrilling sport can enhance your appreciation for the incredible skill and dedication it takes to compete in this sport. So, the next time you watch cowgirls run the pattern, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the rich history and rules that shape this dynamic equestrian discipline.

Exploring the Hidden Gem of Banning, California: Stagecoach Days Rodeo 2023

Nestled in the beautiful San Gorgonio Pass, Banning, California, is a charming city that holds a rich history and offers a myriad of activities for both locals and visitors alike. With its picturesque landscapes, vibrant community, and diverse attractions, Banning has become a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. One of those gems is the town’s iconic Stagecoach Rodeo Days 2023! This event must not be missed, so make sure to keep reading for the full schedule and information on tickets.

Schedule for Banning Stagecoach Days Rodeo 2023

Friday, September 8, 2023- 5 PM – 2 AM

  • Rodeo: 7 PM – 9 PM
  • Vendors: 5 PM – 12 AM
  • Beer Garden: 5 PM – 2 AM

Saturday, September 09, 2023- 3 PM – 2 AM

  • Parade: 10 AM -put on by the City of Banning and Chamber
  • Rodeo: 7 PM – 9 PM
  • Vendors: 5 PM – 12 AM
  • Beer Garden: 5 PM – 2 AM

Other Things to Do in Banning, California

Historical Exploration

Banning boasts a deep-rooted history that can be uncovered through its various historical landmarks. Begin your journey at the Gilman Historic Ranch and Wagon Museum, which provides a glimpse into the region’s ranching heritage. Take a stroll through the museum’s exhibits, including antique wagons, carriages, and farm equipment. Additionally, visit the San Manuel Gathering Hall, a cultural center that showcases the rich traditions of local tribes, preserving their history and art.

Outdoor Adventures

For nature enthusiasts, Banning offers a plethora of outdoor activities that will leave you captivated. Embark on a scenic hike at the nearby San Bernardino National Forest, where you can explore picturesque trails, spot wildlife, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature. The nearby Lake Hemet Recreation Area is perfect for fishing, boating, and picnicking, providing a relaxing escape from the bustling city.

Shopping and Dining

Discover the vibrant shopping and dining scene in Banning, where local businesses thrive. Explore the Banning Towne Center, a premier shopping destination offering an array of retail outlets, eateries, and entertainment venues. From boutique clothing stores to charming gift shops, you’ll find something to suit every taste. Indulge in the local culinary scene, offering a mix of traditional American fare, international cuisines, and farm-to-table delights. Don’t forget to try the local craft beers and wines while you’re here!

Cultural Experiences

Immerse yourself in Banning’s cultural tapestry by exploring its thriving arts and entertainment scene. The Banning Art Gallery showcases the works of talented local artists, providing a platform for creativity and expression. Catch a show at the Banning Performing Arts Center, where you can enjoy live performances ranging from theater productions to musical concerts. The annual Banning Stagecoach Days Parade, although without the rodeo now, still celebrates the city’s heritage and brings the community together.

Day Trips in Banning

Banning serves as an excellent base for exploring the surrounding attractions. Take a short drive to the iconic Palm Springs and indulge in its luxurious resorts, world-class golf courses, and rejuvenating spas. If you’re seeking more adventure, Joshua Tree National Park offers breathtaking desert landscapes, unique rock formations, and opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, and stargazing.

While the recent ban on the Stagecoach Days Rodeo has garnered attention, Banning, California, remains a captivating destination with countless experiences to offer. From delving into its rich history to embarking on outdoor adventures and indulging in local culture, Banning has something for everyone. So, whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, a foodie, or an art enthusiast, don’t miss the opportunity to visit this hidden gem and discover the allure of Banning, California.

Looking for more rodeos in California? Check out our full schedule below!

Rodeo Events 101: Tie-Down Roping

Rodeo, the iconic sport of the Wild West, is a thrilling spectacle that showcases the skills and bravery of cowboys and cowgirls across the world. Among the various events that take place in rodeo competitions, tie-down roping stands out as an exhilarating display of precision and speed. In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating event of tie-down roping, exploring its history, rules, and the awe-inspiring skills required to excel in this event.

What is Tie-Down Roping?

Tie-down roping, also known as calf roping, is a timed event that originated from the traditional ranching practices of cowboys. It simulates the real-life scenario of roping and tying down a calf for branding or medical treatment. The objective is simple yet challenging: the cowboy must rope a calf, dismount from his horse, run towards the calf, and tie three of its legs as quickly as possible. To secure a time, the calf must stay tied for

The Rules of Tie Down Roping

  1. The rules of tie-down roping require the cowboy to start from behind a barrier, which is released when the calf reaches a predetermined distance. This gives the calf a headstart before the cowboy can attempt to rope it.
  2. Once the calf is roped, the cowboy must bring his horse to a halt, get off, and sprint towards the calf. He then rolls the calf onto its side on the ground picking three feet of his choosing and tying them together with a pigging string.
  3. Timing is of the essence in tie-down roping. The cowboy’s goal is to tie down the calf as quickly as possible without penalties, then the clock stops once the calf is tied.
  4. However, speed alone is not enough to secure victory in this event. The cowboy must also demonstrate exceptional roping skills, agility, and precision. The success of their run depends on several things,
    • Accurately throwing the loop around the calf’s neck from a distance, ensuring a secure catch
    • Correctly tying the calf off to his horse
    • Precisely tying the calf’s legs together
    • All while still having the fastest time

Tie-down roping requires a unique bond between the cowboy and his horse. The horse plays a crucial role in this event, as it must be well-trained and responsive to the cowboy’s commands. A skilled horse can anticipate the cowboy’s movements, adjust its speed, and maintain a steady hold on the rope, providing the cowboy with the necessary stability and support to execute the roping and tying process flawlessly.

Safety is a top priority in tie-down roping. Rules are in place to protect the welfare of the animals involved. For instance, if the calf is not standing when the cowboy reaches it, a penalty is applied. Additionally, excessive force or rough handling of the calf is strictly prohibited and can result in disqualification. Rodeo organizers and officials closely monitor the welfare of the animals to ensure that they are treated with respect and care throughout the competition.

Tie-Down Roping Penalties

There are a variety of different penalties that a cowboy can accrue during a tie-down run or some penalties even result in a no-time, meaning the time will not count for the cowboy. Below are some different tie-down roping penalties.

  • Broken Barrier: If a cowboy exits the roping box too early, he ‘breaks the barrier’ and is assessed a 10-second penalty.
  • Jerk Down Rule: A jerk down is defined as bringing the animal over backward with the animal landing on his back or head with all four feet in the air. Cowboys are fined if this rule is broken.
  • Must be a “Legal Tie”: Meaning there needs to be at least one wrap around all three legs and a half-hitch.
  • Six Second Rule: Three legs must remain crossed and tied for six seconds, as time by the judge, from the time the rope horse takes his first step forward after the roper has remounted, until approved by the judge.

Tie Down Roping Equipment

Tie down is one of the more simple rodeo events, meaning all that is really needed is the cowboy, his horse, a calf, and a piggin’ string (or two). Of course, you can’t forget the skill, but as far as equipment goes, tie-down roping equipment is pretty self-explanatory!

What is the extra rope for in tie-down roping?

The extra rope in tie-down roping is used for the “two loop” rule in the event, meaning cowboys have two shots to catch their calf in a span of 25 seconds in order to get a score. Should they fail to catch the calf with the second rope or run out time, then the roper gets a no-time.

Tie-Down World Records

What is the fastest time in tie-down roping?

According to the PRCA Media Guide, the fastest time in Tie-Down Roping was a 5.7-second run by cowboy, Lee Phillips in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, in 1978. The next fastest time is 6.3 seconds by Ricky Canton in Strathmore, Alberta, in 2005. The name of the game is speed and these cowboys are holding their record strong.

Who has won the most tie-down world championships?

The record for most tie down championships ever won goes to cowboy, Dean Oliver who won a total of 8 World Championships and three straight all around world championship. He truly was a force to be reckoned with and left his mark on the sport of tie down roping forever.

Cowboy, Dean Oliver. Credit to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame

Tie-down roping is a crowd favorite in rodeo events due to its fast-paced nature and the impressive skills showcased by the cowboys. It requires a perfect blend of physical strength, mental focus, and technical expertise. The ability to remain calm under pressure and execute precise movements in a split second sets the best tie-down ropers apart from the rest.

In conclusion, tie-down roping is a thrilling event that captures the essence of the cowboy way of life. Its roots in ranching traditions, combined with the demands for speed, accuracy, and horsemanship, make it a true test of skill and courage. Whether you are a rodeo enthusiast or simply curious about the world of Western sports, tie-down roping is a mesmerizing display of talent that is sure to leave you in awe. So, sit back, grab your cowboy hat, and enjoy the exhilarating ride of tie-down roping in rodeo!