RAM NCFR Rodeo Rundown: What is bareback riding? - RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo

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RAM NCFR Rodeo Rundown: What is bareback riding?

RAM NCFR Rodeo Rundown: What is bareback riding?

RAM NCFR Rodeo Rundown: What is bareback riding?

Bareback riding is responsible for the highest level of abuse to the cowboy’s body and more injuries with lasting effects than any other rodeo event, and cowboys do it just for the love of eight seconds. Bareback riding was developed in the rodeo arena many decades ago, and today, it is known for some of the wildest rides in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). 

A bareback rider begins his ride inside of a bucking chute (a rectangular pen that is just big enough for the rider and animal) on top of a 1,200-pound bronc. Once his hand is securely placed inside of his riggin’, a leather and rawhide handle that wraps around the chest and back of the bronc, the rider nods his head, signaling that he is ready for the chute gate to open. As the bronc bucks out of the chute, the rider must “mark out,” meaning he must keep his spurs on the horse’s shoulders until the front feet hit the ground from the initial buck. In bareback riding, failure to mark out or slapping yourself or the animal with your free arm will result in disqualification. 

RAM NCFR Rodeo Rundown: What is bareback riding?

During the ride, the rider will draw his knees upward towards his chest and roll his spurs on the broncs front end. As the horse kicks out with their hind legs and falls to their front legs, the cowboy will straighten his legs, rolling his spurs back down the horse’s shoulders. This encourages them to buck and will get the cowboy more points! The bronc and rider have eight seconds to show the judges what they have. After the eight seconds, two judges score the rider from 0-25 and the animal 0-25. These four judged scores are then added together with a total maximum score of 100 points. Points are awarded based on the difficulty of the bronc and how well the rider covers. Remember, extra points are given if the rider is in control and utilizes his spurs!

At the second performance of the RAM National Finals Rodeo, Tilden Hooper rode Misty Valley, bareback horse of Vold Rodeo. You can see below that both of the judges scored Misty Valley 19 points out of 25, and Tilden scored a 23 and a 22, totaling 83 points out of a possible 100. 

Contestant Stock Brand Stock Name  Score Stock Score  Rider Score
Tilden Hooper Vold Rodeo  Misty Valley 83.00 19.00/19.00 23.00/22.00

 

RAM NCFR Rodeo Rundown: What is bareback riding?

Tilden Hooper went on to win the RAM NCFR Bareback Riding championship that weekend. He joins a list of former bareback champions like Tim O’Connell, R.C. Landigham and Mason Clements. As of June 18th, 2019, he is sitting in 5th place in the 2019 PRCA World Standings and 14th in the Texas Circuit Bareback riding standings. You can find Tilden at the 2020 RAM Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo January 2nd, 3rd and 4th in Waco, Texas, where he will be competing to qualify for the RAM NCFR. We sure hope to see him back in Kissimmee, Florida April 2nd – 5th for the 2020 RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo!

RAM NCFR Rodeo Rundown: What is bareback riding?

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