Bareback Riding

Justin Pollmiller
2016 Bareback Champion

GOAL: The cowboy attempts to stay on the back of a bucking horse for eight seconds while holding onto a small leather handle.

SCORING: The cowboy and horse are each scored up to 50 points; the total possible score for the ride being 100 points.

DISQUALIFICATIONS: The cowboy can’t touch the horse, himself, or his equipment with his free hand, and he must ride the bronc for eight seconds. He must also “mark his horse out,” as in saddle bronc riding. This means he must have his spurs over the point of the horse’s shoulders until the first jump out of the chute is completed.

EQUIPMENT: Each cowboy rides with a “rigging” a double thick leather pad cinched on the bronc’s back. The rigging is fitted with a handle much like a suitcase handle, which the cowboy holds onto, using no stirrups or reins. Spurs and a glove are used and, as in saddle bronc riding, chaps are worn to add to the effect of the spurring actions.

THINGS TO WATCH: The cowboy keeps his legs forward at all times and tries to spur as wild and high as possible while keeping his legs moving in time with the bronc’s jumps. A cowboy tries to keep his body close to the handhold, for once he gets jerked back away from it, his ride is usually over.