Team roping is unique in rodeo as it is the only rodeo event that features two riders and is also the only event where both men and women compete together in either single sex or mixed teams. It is a timed event where two mounted riders work together to rope a steer.
The steer is released from a chute and given a head start. The first roper (the header) uses one of three ‘legal’ head catches, (either around both horns, around one horn and the neck or the neck). Then the second roper (the heeler) ropes the steer’s heels once the first rider has wrapped his rope around his saddle horn and used his horse to turn his steer to the left. The clock is stopped once there is no slack in either rope, and the horses are turned to face each other. There are a number of detailed rules around how the steer can be roped and time penalties are incurred if these are not abided by.
The origins of the sport date back to working cattle ranches. Large animals would need to be caught for branding or vaccinations; however they were too large to be caught by a single cowboy. Two men would work together, and the fastest most accurate pairs developed strong reputations. Teams would practice on their own time to try to become the fastest pair and so the contests began. Success in this event requires close co-operation not only between the two riders but also between each rider and his horse. The heading horse needs to be strong enough to turn the steer, and the heeling horse needs to be quick and agile to follow the steer.
US Team Roping Championships (USTRC)…
This is an exciting and exhilarating event to watch which is always popular with the crowds. You will want to attend as many United States Team Roping Championships (USTRC) events this year as possible, as it is a family friendly event.
The USTRC organizes a programme of regional and national finals with large prizes offered to the winners.
Stay tuned into Cowboy Lifestyle Network for all your USTRC updates leading up to the Cinch National Finals 2015
2015 USTR Event Calendar and Coverage