Thursday Jun 28 2012
Can't make heads or tails of the Folsom Pro Rodeo competitions?
By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
The Telegraph cuts through the dust to give you the skinny
There?s something about a rodeo that can transport one back in time to the days of wooden sidewalks, gunslingers and the clink-clack sound of spurs. Maybe it?s the steer wrestling or watching a cowboy try to hold on while a massive bull does its best to send that cowboy flying. Whatever the case, rodeos keep a piece of Americana alive. There are several rodeo event recognized by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association including bull and bronc riding, calf and team roping, steer wrestling and saddle-bronc riding. The Folsom Pro Rodeo, to be held June 29 through July 1, brings all the favorites for the crowds to enjoy. The following are descriptions of the main rodeo events provided by the PRCA. Bull Riding Bull riding, this involves willingly climbing on the back of a 2,000-pound bull. The risks are obvious. Serious injury is always a possibility for those who sit astride an animal that literally weighs a ton and is usually equipped with dangerous horns. Regardless, cowboys do it, fans love it and bull riding ranks as one of rodeo?s most popular events. Steer Wrestling Speed and strength are the name of the game in steer wrestling. In fact, with a world record sitting at 2.4 seconds, steer wrestling is the quickest event in rodeo. The objective of the steer wrestler, who is also known as a ?bulldogger,? is to use strength and technique to wrestle a steer to the ground as quickly as possible. The steer generally weighs more than twice as much as the cowboy and, at the time the two come together, they?re both often traveling at 30 miles per hour. Speed and precision, the two most important ingredients in steer wrestling, make bulldogging one of rodeo?s most challenging events. Saddle Bronc Riding Saddle bronc riding is rodeo?s classic event, both a complement and contrast to the wilder spectacles of bareback riding and bull riding. This event requires strength, but the event also demands style, grace and precise timing. Saddle bronc riding evolved from the task of breaking and training horses to work the cattle ranches of the Old West. Many cowboys claim riding saddle broncs is the toughest rodeo event to master because of the technical skills necessary for success. Tie-down Roping As with saddle bronc riding and team roping, the roots of tie-down roping can be traced back to the working ranches of the Old West. When calves were sick or injured, cowboys had to rope and immobilize them quickly for veterinary treatment. Ranch hands prided themselves on the speed with which they could rope and tie calves, and they soon turned their work into informal contests. Team Roping Team roping, the only true team event in pro rodeo requires close cooperation and timing between two highly skilled ropers ? a header and a heeler ? and their horses. The event originated on ranches when cowboys needed to treat or brand large steers and the task proved too difficult for one man. Similar to tie-down ropers and steer wrestlers, team ropers start from the boxes on each side of the chute from which the steer enters the arena. The steer gets a head start determined by the length of the arena.