The 3 Bar J Rodeo
Cowboys from all over the United States and Canada came to Greenville to compete in the 3 Bar J Rodeo. This event was sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. It featured eight incredible events including bare back bronc riding, team roping and barrel racing.
The first team ropers to compete on Wednesday were Clay Smith from Broken Bow, Oklahoma and Jade Corkill from Fallon, Nevada. Between them, they have earned five PRCA world championships.
Bare Back Bronc Riding
Bare back bronc riding is a rodeo event that involves a cowboy on a bucking horse. It is the quickest event in the rodeo, with rides lasting eight seconds. Scoring is based half on the horse’s performance and the other half on the rider’s spurring action and control. A rider is disqualified if he touches the animal or his equipment with his free hand before the buzzer.
During the bronc ride, cowboys try to stay on top of the horse and rake their spurs up its shoulders to control it. It’s a risky and dangerous event that causes more injuries than any other rodeo event.
Steer wrestling, also known as bulldogging, requires immense strength and precision. The event begins when a cowboy on horseback chases a steer around the arena before jumping off and wrestling it to the ground.
A hazer, another cowboy on horseback, rides parallel to the steer, keeping it running in a straight line. When the cowboy nods to indicate he’s ready, a chute man opens a rope barrier, freeing the sprinting steer.
The steer wrestler then jumps off his horse, catches the animal’s horns, and uses strength and leverage to slow the steer down and pin it to the ground. A successful run in this event results in a time of less than five seconds.
Tie-down roping is one of the most complex events within rodeo, and its success relies on the precise teamwork between cowboy and horse. The mounted cowboy starts from a box, a three-sided fenced area adjacent to the chute that holds the calf; the fourth side opens into the arena.
The calf gets a head start, and the cowboy gives chase. If he can catch the calf, dismount and throw it by hand – a maneuver known as flanking – then tie any three of its legs together using a piggin’ string he carries in his teeth until needed, the clock stops.
The best teams win cash and prizes.
Saddle Bronc Riding
Saddle bronc riding is rodeo’s classic event, tracing its roots to the practice of breaking and training saddle horses for cowboy use in the Old West. The contestant rides a bucking horse while holding a thick “bronc rein” with one hand for leverage. Judges score the horse and rider on their bucking action and the rider’s ability to control and spur the animal through its full arc.
Circle, Montana rancher Sparky Dreesen has been preparing his bucking animals for over a month. His team of twelve horses and bulls left for Las Vegas on November 23. He’s betting they’ll be well worth the trip.
Ladies Breakaway Roping
In 2020, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association added breakaway roping to its roster of women’s events. Since then, the sport has become a staple in high-profile rodeos like RFD-TV’s The American. It’s also a popular event for women at high school and college levels. Top women breakaway ropers such as Lari Dee Guy and Jackie Crawford conduct clinics around the country.
In breakaway roping, participants ride their horse and chase down a calf while trying to rope it around the neck. They’re racing against the clock and must do this in a matter of seconds. If they miss or catch a different part of the calf, they’re disqualified.
Ladies Barrel Race
The sport of barrel racing demands a unique combination of skill and precision. Horse and rider must run around three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern as fast as possible without knocking down any of them. A single touch can result in a five-second penalty, which dramatically reduces a competitor’s chances at winning the prize money.
This requires a special bond between the rider and her horse, which can only be achieved with extensive training and practice. Moreover, horses must be conditioned to generate the high speed needed for this event. Otherwise, the horse will not be able to turn the barrels in time and may incur a painful injury.