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Steer Wrestling

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By Gideon Lupine

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Steer Wrestling is perhaps the most dangerous of all rodeo events. This sport is also known as bulldogging and big man’s event. In this competition, the horse rider has to chase a steer, mount it and wrestle it to the ground. Most participants of this event are hefty and large. It takes timing, speed and strength to overpower the steer. This is the quickest of all rodeo events. There are no historical records that connect this event with ranch life. As such, the origin of bulldogging is uncertain. Although there are several versions, none has been proven. Since this is a timed event, cowboys have to complete the event in the shortest time possible. The one who wrestles the steer to the ground in the shortest time is declared winner. Professional bulldoggers can complete this event within 3 or 4 seconds.

Steer wrestlers begin the competition in a box across which a barrier is placed. As is the case with other rodeo events such as Tie down Roping and Team Roping, breaking the barrier will result in a 10 second penalty. The cowboy usually nods his head to indicate that he is ready. At this point, the steer is released and the cowboy chases after it. The barrier is in place to ensure that the animal gets a head start. Once the bulldogger catches up with the steer, he has to lean over and grab the head of the animal. When the steer wrestler has gotten a firm hold, he puts his feet on the ground and brings the animal down. The clock stops as soon as all legs of the animal are off the ground.

The Thrill and Risks of Steer Wrestling

Nylon RALPH Handbag Black LAUREN Tote LAUREN RzZwEqEOAlthough Steer Wrestling is an individual sport, the participant requires the assistance of various supporting characters. Among them, hazer is the most important. A hazer is a horse mounted cowboy who ensures that the steer runs straight and does not turn sideways. Hence the hazer has to gallop parallel to the steer from the moment it is released. Sometimes the steer will fall or stumble before the bulldogger reaches it. In such situations, the participant has to wait for the animal to get back up or assist it up before bringing it down. The time of steer wrestlers who miss the animal on their way down will not be counted.

Nylon RALPH Handbag Black LAUREN Tote LAUREN RzZwEqEOThe animals used in professional Steer Wrestling usually weigh between 400 and 600 pounds. In such competitions, the time of contestants do not exceed 10 seconds. Since this event involves wrestling an animal to the ground, it has seen its share of animal cruelty controversies. There have been several incidents where the steer has suffered injuries such as broken necks.

The bulldoggers are also at risk of physical injuries. Hence the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) does not allow female participants for this event. Several independent studies have shown that the injury rate for bulldogging is very low when compared to other rodeo events. Additionally, the PRCA has taken several steps to ensure that the animals are not subjected to abuse.

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