Tie Down Roping

2016 Bennington Rodeo Champion
Bart Brunson

GOAL: The cowboy works to rope, throw and tie down a 300-pound calf faster than the competition.

SCORING/TIMING: The roper is timed from the moment his horse leave the roping box until he throws his hands up; indicating to the judge that he has completed tying his calf.

DISQUALIFICATIONS/PENALTIES: The cowboy must remain behind a barrier until the calf has a head start. If he “breaks the barrier,” 10 seconds are added to his time. If the calf becomes untied before six seconds are up, the roper is disqualified.

EQUIPMENT: The steer wrestler chooses his own horse and equipment, but the ropes are the same for everyone. A lariat rope, about twenty-five feet long and about three-eighths of an inch thick, is used to rope the calf. A smaller six-foot length of rope is used to tie the calf.

THINGS TO WATCH: A skilled, well-trained horse is the key to calf roping. It must stay a certain distance behind the calf so the cowboy can make a successful throw. Once the calf is roped, the horse must keep the rope tight so the cowboy doesn’t have to struggle with the calf while he’s trying to tie its feet together.