Rodeo Terminology

Added Money: Money that the rodeo committee pays to the winning contestant in each event. This practice attracts the best-of-the-best competitors to Poway Rodeo.

Bailing Out: Getting off the animal the best way you can, usually, cowboys jump off of the bucking stock after their 8-second ride.

Bareback Riding: Emphasizes the balance of the rider as only one hand on a rigging strap helps him to stay aboard his bucking mount.

Barrel Racing: For the barrel racing event, the arena is cleared and three barrels are set up at different marked locations. The riders then enter the arena at full speed, quickly rounding each barrel in a cloverleaf pattern and then exiting where they entered. A stopwatch or timer is used registering down to a hundredth of a second.

BarrierIn: the timed events, the stock is given a head start and must cross a certain distance before the rider tries to catch the animal. In order to assure that the animal recieves the correct amount of time, the officials watch the rope stretched across the front of the contestants box to make sure that it is not broken before the stock crosses the line.

Breaking the Barrier: When a contestant leaves the box before the animal has moved far enough into the arena. The contestant is penalized by having ten seconds added to the his time.

Bronc Rein: A rope which is 1 1/2 – 2 inches in diameter and is attached to the halter of a saddle bronc horse, giving the cowboy something to hold for balance.

Bucking Event: Bucking events are those events where a rider must stay on a bucking animal for a minimum of eight seconds. Examples are: Saddle Bronc, Bareback, Bull Riding..

Bull Riding: Bull Riding is the most recognized and popular of all the rodeo events. Also the most dangerous of all rodeo events, it pits the cowboy’s courage and riding skill against the speed and power of a 1500 pound bull. An often quoted saying about bull riding is “it’s not if you get hurt, it’s when.”

Bull Rope: A flat woven rope, less than an inch in diameter, which is wrapped around the body of the bull, just behind the front legs. The rider then wraps the rope around his hand to secure him to the bull.

CFR: The Annual Finals for the top twelve contestants in each event in the PRCA California Circuit.

Entry Fee: The money paid by the contestant in order to compete in a rodeo event. Contestants pay to enter each event.

Flagman: An official for timed events who signals the end of a ride time or an illegal action by the contestant.

Flank Strap: A wool-lined strap that wraps around the flank of a bronc or bull. As the animal bucks out of the chute, the strap is tightened, causing the animal to buck in reflex.

Go Round: This is a contestant’s one turn in one event.

Hazer: In Steer Wrestling, the Hazer is the cowboy riding on the side of the steer that is opposite of the steer wrestler and his horse.

Head Wrap: A protective piece of leather that is placed around a steer’s horns to prevent injury to the steer during roping events.

Header: In team roping, the header is the cowboy that ropes the steer around the horns, head, or neck.

Heeler: In team roping, the heeler is the cowboy that ropes the hind legs of the steer.

Junior Barrels: event in which a horse and rider attempt to complete a clover-leaf pattern around preset barrels in the fastest time.

Mutton Busting: Event held at rodeos similar to bull riding or bronc riding. In the event, a sheep is held still, either in a small chute or by an adult handler while a child is placed on top in a riding position. Once the child is seated atop the sheep, the sheep is released and usually starts to run in an attempt to get the child off.

NFR: National Finals Rodeo.

No Time: This occurs when a contestant does not properly catch or handle the stock correctly. He receives no time for his efforts and has no hope to win the event.

Pick-up Man: A cowboy on horseback who helps the bareback riders and the saddle bronc riders to dismount from their horses.

Purse: The money paid to the winners of each rodeo event. It equals the total of the added money and entry fees.

PRCA: Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

Pulling Leather: When a saddle bronc rider touches any part of the saddle with their free hand during the eight-second ride, causing disqualification.

Re-Ride: The option for another ride given to a bucking event contestant or a timed event contestant when either the stock or the cowboy is not afforded a fair opportunity to show their best.

Rowel: The circular, notched, free moving part of a spur. The PRCA has very strict regulations as to what type of spurs may be used on rodeo stock. Most horse riders wear more harsh spurs than those worn by rodeo cowboys.

Saddle Bronco: Brings horse and rider together in a classic duel as the cowboy attempts to stay atop the bronc’s back for eight seconds

Steer Wrestling: Steer wrestling, also known as bulldogging is the quickest of the rodeo events. It requires strength, speed, and timing. Many of steer wrestlers are large, hefty cowboys which is why this event is sometimes called the big man’s event. Is a timed event in which the cowboy leaps from his horse, grabs the steer’s horns, and attempts to bring the animal to the ground

Stock Contractor: The person who provides all of the stock used in the rodeo events.

Team Roping: Team roping is the only team event in rodeo. Like tie-down roping and saddle bronc riding, team roping grew out of the ranch chores of the past. Larger cattle would have to be immobilized for branding and doctoring by two ropers due to their strength and size. Today, pits a pair of contestants in a race against the clock as the “header” ropes a steer’s horns while the “heeler” attempts to lasso its hind legs.

Tie-Down Roping: Formerly known as calf roping is the classic old west ranch chore. It is now one of the most competitive of rodeo events. Tests both horse and cowboy as they work together to rope and tie a calf weighing up to 350 pounds in a race against the clock.

Timed Events: The events where the contestant is timed and his score is based on the time. Examples include Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Calf Roping, and Barrel Racing.

Timers: The people who clock contestant’s time for each timed event and for timing the eight second rides of the bucking events.