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What is Saddle Bronc Riding?

WadeSundell-Saddlebronc-Calgary-Stampede-2014

As with many other events which are a part of the collective whole of a rodeo show, Saddle Bronc Riding also traces its roots back to the time of ranches, the Wild West and cowboys.

Originally used to break in horses on ranches to tame them, it gradually evolved to become the competitive sporting event as we know it today.

Taos-Muncy-WNFR-2014-Saddle-Bronc-Riders-(FI)

It is one of the mainstays and headlining events of modern rodeo, recognized both domestically by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and internationally by the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA). Saddle Bronc Riding is a part of newer associations such as the World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA). Of course, the sport of Saddle Bronc Riding stretches from Jr. High School Rodeo, High School Rodeo and College Rodeos across the United States.

The backside of a rodeo saddle bronc cowboy as he carries his saddle before a competitionThe basic description of a typical match or routine goes like this. The rider must stay atop the bucking horse or ‘bronco’ for a minimum of 8 seconds. They can only use one hand similar to bull riding. The objective in bronc riding is to get your feet above the shoulders of the horse before it lands its front feet on the ground after the first buck.

This is called ‘Marking the Horse out’.

Scoring is accorded 50 points to the rider for their skill, ability and technique and 50 points to the horse for bucking ability or in layman’s terms, what was the difficulty level of the horse. The 2 scores are then totaled up to form the final score.

The backside of a rodeo saddle bronc cowboy as he carries his saddle before a competitionThe answer to what separates this from bareback riding can be found in the name itself. There is a saddle involved for the rider to sit on it. Many proponents of Saddle Bronc Riding and critics of bareback riding champion saddle riding as the safer option for both the rider as well as the animal involved.

The horses used are not typically feral, aggressive or untamed animals with bad tempers like their bull counterparts in bull riding. They are rather prized and selected on the basis of their ability to jump and buck high.

CoBurn Bradshaw on 2 Cookies (The Cervi Brothers) Round7 of WNFR16

CoBurn Bradshaw on 2 Cookies (The Cervi Brothers) Round7 of WNFR16

Saddle Bronc Riding can be caught on any of the numerous rodeo events throughout the year. Stay tuned to Cowboy Lifestyle Network for various rodeos taking place throughout the rodeo season and check out GoCountryEvents.com for all upcoming events!

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