RAM NCFR Rodeo Rundown: What are timed events?
In the late 1800s, the sport of rodeo was born in the Old American West when cowboys and cowgirls attracted a crowd through friendly competition amidst ranch chores. As interest grew, events were brought to the big stage in the early 1900s. Shortly after, associations saw a need for event rules, regulations, and an assortment of stock. While enjoying a modern-day rodeo, you’ll see seven traditional rodeo events, all of which require different rules and stock. Rodeo’s traditional events are broken down into two distinct types of competition, the rough stock events, and timed events. The timed events include steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, and barrel racing.
Steers and calves
As you watch tie-down roping, the first thing you’ll probably notice is the size of the calves. They weigh between 220 and 280 pounds. These calves can be of any breed and are only used for a handful of events due to rapid weight gain. Calves are used at this weight because they must be strong as well as agile to compete.
Corriente cattle are used in team roping and steer wrestling because of their lean and athletic build, typically weighing between 450-650 pounds. Corrientes can be spotted by their long, curving horns and small frames.
The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) has over 60 livestock welfare rules in place to ensure the proper care and treatment of its livestock. Before the performance can begin, a veterinarian must be on-site at all PRCA-sanctioned rodeos. While they stay for the entire duration of the rodeo, they also conduct inspections before releasing each individual animal to perform.
Roping and steer wrestling horses
The most popular breed of horses throughout the sport of rodeo is the American Quarter horse. The compact body of the American Quarter Horse is well-suited for the intricate and quick maneuvers required in roping events. The American Quarter Horse has a small, short, refined head with a well-muscled body, featuring a broad chest and powerful hindquarters. These characteristics are important when team ropers and steer wrestlers are working with 450+ pound steers and when tie-down ropers need to trail quick, agile calves.
Barrel racing horses
We know that barrel racing horses must be fast, but even the fastest horse in the arena must possess other characteristics before becoming a winning horse. Other important characteristics include coordination, athleticism, and agility. These horses, typically American Quarter Horses, perform at top speeds and must also be able to turn on a dime then pick right back up and run towards the next barrel. Many barrel horses come from good bloodlines and are specifically bred for this job.
To watch our animal athletes in action, join us at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo (RAM NCFR).