The rodeo event bulldogging, or more recognized as steer wrestling is a timed event in which there are multiple moving parts working at once, making it a difficult dangerous event with a great risk of injury to the cowboy, thus it takes a lot of coordination, timing, and skill.
The event features a steer and two mounted cowboys, along with a number of supporting characters. The steers start in a chute with spring-loaded doors. A barrier rope is fastened around the steer’s neck which is used to ensure that the steer gets a head start. The rope length is determined by arena length. On one side of the chute is the “hazer”, whose job is to ride parallel with the steer once it begins running and ensure it runs in a straight line, on the other side of the chute the steer wrestler waits behind a taut rope fastened with an easily broken string which is fastened to the rope on the steer.
When the steer wrestler is ready he calls for the steer by nodding his head and the chute man trips a lever opening the doors. The steer then breaks out running, matched by the hazer. When the steer reaches the end of his rope, it pops off and simultaneously releases the barrier for the steer wrestler. The steer wrestler attempts to catch up to the running steer, leans over the side of the horse which is running, then grab the horns of the running steer. The steer wrestler then is pulled off his horse by the slowing steer and plants his heels into the dirt further slowing the steer and himself. He then takes one hand off the horns, reaches down and grabs the nose of the steer pulling the steer off balance and ultimately putting the steer to the ground on its side. Once all four legs are off the ground, an official waves a flag marking the official end and a time is taken. The steer is released and trots off. The steer wrestler who does this in the fastest time is the winner of the event.
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