Tie-Down Roping - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Tie-Down Roping

As with saddle bronc riding and team roping, the roots of tie-down roping can be traced back to the working ranches of the Old West. When calves were sick or injured, cowboys had to rope and immobilize them quickly for veterinary treatment. Ranch hands prided themselves on the speed with which they could rope and tie calves, and they soon turned their work into informal contests.

As the event matured, being a good horseman and a fast sprinter became as important to the competitive tie-down roper as being quick and accurate with a rope.

Today, the mounted cowboy starts from a box, a three-sided fenced area adjacent to the chute holding the calf. The fourth side of the box opens into the arena.

A cowboy's success in tie-down roping depends in large part on the precise teamwork between him and his horse. The calf receives a head start that is determined by the length of the arena. One end of a breakaway rope barrier is looped around the calf's neck and stretched across the open end of the box. When the calf reaches its advantage point, the barrier is released. If the roper breaks the barrier before the calf reaches its head start, the cowboy is assessed a 10-second penalty.

The horse is trained to come to a stop as soon as the cowboy throws his loop and catches the calf. The cowboy then dismounts, sprints to the calf and throws it by hand, a maneuver called flanking. If the calf is not standing when the cowboy reaches it, he must allow the calf to get back on its feet before flanking it. After the calf is flanked, the roper ties any three legs together with a pigging string - a short, looped rope he clenches in his teeth during the run.

While the contestant is accomplishing all of that, his horse must pull back hard enough to eliminate any slack in the rope, but not so hard as to drag the calf.

When the roper finishes tying the calf, he throws his hands in the air as a signal that the run is completed. The roper then remounts his horse, rides forward to create slack in the rope and waits six seconds to see if the calf remains tied. If the calf kicks free, the roper receives no time.

*Courtesy of the PRCA Pro Rodeo Website

RODEO WESTERN WEEK 2014 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Thursday January 10th

12-2pm Miss Rodeo Montana Horsemanship, Fours Seasons Arena, Fairgrounds, Free

5-8pm Great Falls Chamber Pro Rodeo Mixer, Heritage Inn Plus, Convention Center Free

7pm Cowboy Auction, Heritage Inn Plus, Convention Center, Free

Friday January 11th

11am-1pm Miss Rodeo Montana Speech Luncheon, Holiday Inn

Noon-2pm Contestant Check-In, Heritage Inn Plus, Convention Center

2-3pm Contestant Check-In, Heritage Inn Plus, Convention Center

3-6pm Rodeo Committeeman's Meeting, Heritage Inn Plus, American Room

7pm MPRF Rodeo Performance, Montana ExpoPark, Great Falls

Saturday January 12th

10:30am MPRF Ranch Rodeo Four Seasons Arena, $10 at the door

Noon - 1:30pm Miss Rodeo Montana Coronation and Luncheon, Hampton Inn

1:30-3pm Kiddie Rodeo by Miss Rodeo Montana, Heritage Inn Plus, Free

2:30 - 3:30pm Cowboy Auction, Heritage Inn, Free

7pm MPRF Rodeo Performance, Montana ExpoPark, Great Falls

Sunday January 13th

9:30-11:30 Miss Rodeo Montana Coronation, Hampton Inn

10-11am Church Service, Heritage Inn Plus, Britain Room

2pm Tough Enough to Wear Pink MPRF Rodeo Performance, Montana ExpoPark, Great Falls

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