Team Roping

2018 Champions Jesse Stipes and Jake Smith

GOAL: The team in this event consists of a header and a heeler. The header tries to rope a running steer, dally his rope around his saddle horn, then pull the steer away from the heeler, giving the heeler the opportunity to rope the steer around the hind legs or heels. The steer may weigh anywhere from 400 to 600 pounds.

SCORING/TIMING: The team is timed from the moment the header’s horse leaves the roping box until the heeler catches the hind legs, both heeler and header ropes are tight, and both horses are facing the rope.

DISQUALIFICATIONS/PENALTIES: The header must remain behind a barrier until the steer has a head start. If the header “breaks the barrier,” ten seconds will be added to the time. If either the header or heeler misses his first loop the team is disqualified. If the heeler catches only one hind leg, a five-second penalty is added to the time. The header may catch the steer around both horns, around the neck, or around the neck and one horn, which is a half head catch. Any other type of head catch will disqualify the team.

EQUIPMENT: A nylon rope about thirty feet long is used to rope the head. A nylon rope about 35 feet long and usually stiffer than the other rope is used to rope the heels. Both team members choose their own horse and riding equipment.

THINGS TO WATCH: A skilled, well-trained horse is a necessity to both header and heeler. The heading horse must stay a certain distance behind the steer so the cowboy can make a successful throw. Once he has made the head catch, the header’s horse must pull the steer, giving the heeler his opportunity to throw his rope. The heeler’s horse must follow the steer then stop after the throw to the heels is made. Both ropes must be tight before the flag will drop. Both ropers must dally their ropes around their saddle horns after the catch is made.