PRCA Rodeo

About the PRCA

PRCA Headquarters - Colorado Springs, CO

PRCA Headquarters - Colorado Springs, CO

"The PRCA, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., is the largest and oldest professional rodeo-sanctioning body in the world. The recognized leader in ProRodeo, the PRCA is committed to maintaining the highest standards. The PRCA, a membership-based organization, sanctions approximately 600 rodeos annually, and there are more than 30 million fans in the U.S. Unlike most other professional sports, where contestants are paid salaries regardless of how well they do at a particular competition, cowboys generally pay to enter each rodeo. If they place high enough to win money, they probably make a profit, but if they don’t, they’ve actually lost their entry fee and any travel expenses, so every entry is a gamble pitting the chance for loss and physical injury against the chance for financial windfalls and athletic glory. Also unlike most sanctioned professional sports, the hundreds of “playing fields” – rodeo arenas – of PRCA-sanctioned rodeos vary widely by locale. The size, shape, perimeter and roof/open top of an arena, as well as the chute configuration, greatly affect times for timed events and, to a lesser extent, scores for roughstock events. The differences are so significant that some timed-event cowboys own different horses for different types of arenas. For that reason, the most fair way to measure cowboys’ success in competition across the varied settings is by earnings. The total payout at PRCA rodeos in 2010 was $39,870,303 – a $2 million increase from 2009." -PRCA Rodeo Website

Check here the for most up-to-date Standings: PRCA Standings

About the WPRA

WPRA Headquarters - Colorado Springs, CO

WPRA Headquarters - Colorado Springs, CO

"The Women's Professional Rodeo Association was formed in 1948 when thirty-eight cowgirls came together in San Angelo, Texas to create an organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of women in the sport of rodeo. The earliest pioneers of the Girl's Rodeo Association (GRA) were ropers, bronc riders, and barrel racers. They were fed up with a system which did not grant them competitive opportunities in the arena and, when it did, operated under unfair conditions.The GRA began with 74 original members with 60 approved contests and total payout of $29,000. In 1981 the GRA changed its name to the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. It is the oldest women’s sports association in the country and the only one governed entirely by women." - WPRA Rodeo Website

Check here for the most up-to-date Standings: WPRA Standings

Official Events 

Bull Riding In what is hoped to be an eight-second ride, the rider holds a flat-braided rope in his glove hand. As he settles onto his bull in the chute, he pulls the rope’s tail through a loop and wraps the rope around his riding hand, at times weaving it through his fingers for better grip. Each bull has a different style of bucking; some spin, others circle, others throw in jumps or kicks, and others move sideways in mid-air. As the cowboy waves his free hand to counter the bull’s gyration and maintain his balance, he must avoid touching the bull with his free hand or he is disqualified. The cowboy’s control and the bull’s bucking efforts each account for half of the score.

Bull Riding

In what is hoped to be an eight-second ride, the rider holds a flat-braided rope in his glove hand. As he settles onto his bull in the chute, he pulls the rope’s tail through a loop and wraps the rope around his riding hand, at times weaving it through his fingers for better grip. Each bull has a different style of bucking; some spin, others circle, others throw in jumps or kicks, and others move sideways in mid-air. As the cowboy waves his free hand to counter the bull’s gyration and maintain his balance, he must avoid touching the bull with his free hand or he is disqualified. The cowboy’s control and the bull’s bucking efforts each account for half of the score.

Saddle Bronc Riding Unlike bareback riding, where the cowboy grabs a rigging fastened to the horse’s back, a saddle bronc rider grips a thick rein attached to the horse’s halter. He must then mark out the horse as in bareback riding. As the horse bucks, the rider bends his knees to pull his heels back and then snaps his feet back to the horse’s shoulder as the animal’s front feet hit the ground, synchronizing spurring with the horse’s movements. The rider is judged on spurring action, body control and the degree to which he keeps his toes turned out. The horse’s bucking action contributes to the score, just as in bareback riding.

Saddle Bronc Riding

Unlike bareback riding, where the cowboy grabs a rigging fastened to the horse’s back, a saddle bronc rider grips a thick rein attached to the horse’s halter. He must then mark out the horse as in bareback riding. As the horse bucks, the rider bends his knees to pull his heels back and then snaps his feet back to the horse’s shoulder as the animal’s front feet hit the ground, synchronizing spurring with the horse’s movements. The rider is judged on spurring action, body control and the degree to which he keeps his toes turned out. The horse’s bucking action contributes to the score, just as in bareback riding.

Bull Dogging/Steer Wrestling Steer wrestlers, also known as bulldoggers, try to toss a steer onto its back after jumping off a quarter horse. Courage, timing and balance are essential. The objective: Get the steer on the ground the fastest using only strength and leverage. Done correctly, the event takes only three to five seconds. The cowboy starts his run behind a barrier with another cowboy called a hazer, who keeps the steer from turning away. The steer is then given a head start. When it reaches the “scoreline” and the rope barrier is released, the steer wrestler and the hazer chase the steer until the wrestler can make his jump. The wrestler then hooks his right arm around the steer’s right horn, grasps the left horn with his left hand and digs his heels into the dirt and uses leverage to bring down the animal.

Bull Dogging/Steer Wrestling

Steer wrestlers, also known as bulldoggers, try to toss a steer onto its back after jumping off a quarter horse. Courage, timing and balance are essential. The objective: Get the steer on the ground the fastest using only strength and leverage. Done correctly, the event takes only three to five seconds. The cowboy starts his run behind a barrier with another cowboy called a hazer, who keeps the steer from turning away. The steer is then given a head start. When it reaches the “scoreline” and the rope barrier is released, the steer wrestler and the hazer chase the steer until the wrestler can make his jump. The wrestler then hooks his right arm around the steer’s right horn, grasps the left horn with his left hand and digs his heels into the dirt and uses leverage to bring down the animal.

Tie-Down Roping After giving the calf a head start, the horse and rider begin their chase. As the cowboy throws his loop, the horse comes to a stop. With his horse still skidding to a stop, the cowboy dismounts, runs to the calf, throws it to the ground and ties any three legs together with a “pigging string.” The horse must keep slack out of the rope but not pull so tight that the calf is dragged. When the roper finishes tying, he throws his hands in the air to signal to the flag judge. Then, he gets back on his horse and rides toward the calf, putting slack back into the rope. The calf must remain tied for six seconds after the rope is slack or the cowboy will receive a “no time.”

Tie-Down Roping

After giving the calf a head start, the horse and rider begin their chase. As the cowboy throws his loop, the horse comes to a stop. With his horse still skidding to a stop, the cowboy dismounts, runs to the calf, throws it to the ground and ties any three legs together with a “pigging string.” The horse must keep slack out of the rope but not pull so tight that the calf is dragged. When the roper finishes tying, he throws his hands in the air to signal to the flag judge. Then, he gets back on his horse and rides toward the calf, putting slack back into the rope. The calf must remain tied for six seconds after the rope is slack or the cowboy will receive a “no time.”

Bareback Riding The most physically demanding event in a pro rodeo may be bareback riding. Cowboys use one hand to grasp a leather “rigging” to stay on the horse and are judged on their spurring technique and bucking action of the horse. To score higher points, riders must turn the toes of their boots outward and lean way back. No score will be given if the cowboy does not “mark out” the horse. Judges watch closely to ensure that as the horse comes out of the chute, the cowboy’s feet are above its shoulders. The feet must remain there until the horse’s front feet hit the ground. A bareback rider must remain on the animal for eight seconds.

Bareback Riding

The most physically demanding event in a pro rodeo may be bareback riding. Cowboys use one hand to grasp a leather “rigging” to stay on the horse and are judged on their spurring technique and bucking action of the horse. To score higher points, riders must turn the toes of their boots outward and lean way back. No score will be given if the cowboy does not “mark out” the horse. Judges watch closely to ensure that as the horse comes out of the chute, the cowboy’s feet are above its shoulders. The feet must remain there until the horse’s front feet hit the ground. A bareback rider must remain on the animal for eight seconds.

Barrel Racing The goal of barrel racing is to run a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels in the fastest time. The horses pivot on their haunches at high speeds and execute each turn with only inches to spare. Normally, quarter horses are used in barrel racing. A knocked-over barrel incurs a five-second penalty.

Barrel Racing

The goal of barrel racing is to run a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels in the fastest time. The horses pivot on their haunches at high speeds and execute each turn with only inches to spare. Normally, quarter horses are used in barrel racing. A knocked-over barrel incurs a five-second penalty.

Team Roping Team roping demands close cooperation between two cowboys (“header” and “heeler”) and their horses. The steer is given a head start as the header waits behind a rope barrier. If the header breaks the barrier, a 10-second penalty is assessed. The heeler follows. The header is the first one to rope and must catch the steer either around the horns, neck, or one horn and the head. As soon as the header secures the loop, he “dallies” the rope around the saddle horn and rides to the left, turning the steer away from a right-handed heeler. As the header rides away, the heeler tries to rope the steer’s hind feet. A five-second penalty is assessed if the heeler catches only one foot. The two riders then back their horses to take the slack out of their ropes. The clock stops when all the slack has been taken up and the ropers are facing one another.

Team Roping

Team roping demands close cooperation between two cowboys (“header” and “heeler”) and their horses. The steer is given a head start as the header waits behind a rope barrier. If the header breaks the barrier, a 10-second penalty is assessed. The heeler follows. The header is the first one to rope and must catch the steer either around the horns, neck, or one horn and the head. As soon as the header secures the loop, he “dallies” the rope around the saddle horn and rides to the left, turning the steer away from a right-handed heeler. As the header rides away, the heeler tries to rope the steer’s hind feet. A five-second penalty is assessed if the heeler catches only one foot. The two riders then back their horses to take the slack out of their ropes. The clock stops when all the slack has been taken up and the ropers are facing one another.