top of page


The world of rodeo as entertainment has been around since the 1800s! Early rodeos were informal events, but as audiences grew, more and more contests started to become known. Many of the early rodeos were in the form of traveling Western shows like Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. In 1936, the Cowboy’s Turtle Association became the first true national organization in an effort to promote better prize money and judges at events who were familiar with rodeo. The Turtles eventually became the Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1945 and then in 1975, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) was born. Today, we recognize PRCA as one of the largest rodeo sanctioning bodies with over 7000 members and more than 700 events.

These rodeos have very strict rules in place to protect the cowboy and the livestock that they compete on. Local rodeos that have been sanctioned by the PRCA must follow all the rules in order to remain a PRCA event. Laramie Jubilee Days has hosted PRCA sanctioned rodeos for decades and is proud to continue to present PRCA rodeos to our community.

Fans can expect to see contestants in all rodeo events including Team Roping, Tie-down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Bareback Riding, Barrel Racing, and the most recently added event for women, Breakaway Roping.

Steer Wrestling

Steer wrestling, also known as bulldogging, is a rodeo event that involves a cowboy, known as a bulldogger, using strength and technique to wrestle a steer to the ground. The goal is to bring the steer to a stop as quickly as possible by grabbing its horns, twisting its neck, and forcing it to the ground with all four legs pointing in the same direction. Here's an overview of how steer wrestling is conducted in a rodeo:

  1. The event begins with the steer and the cowboy both placed in separate chutes, narrow enclosures used to contain the animals before the start of the competition.

  2. The steer is released into the arena, and the cowboy on horseback starts the pursuit. Another cowboy, known as the hazer, often rides alongside to help guide the steer in a straight line.

  3. The bulldogger follows the steer, riding alongside it, and then makes a daring jump from the horse to grab the steer's horns. Timing and precision are crucial in this phase.

  4. Once the bulldogger has a grip on the steer's horns, they use strength and technique to twist the steer's neck and bring it to a stop. The objective is to change the steer's direction and force it to lose its forward momentum.

  5. With the steer's neck twisted and under control, the bulldogger applies pressure to bring the steer to the ground. The ultimate goal is to get all four of the steer's legs pointing in the same direction.

  6. The time is recorded when the steer is on the ground and has all four legs pointing in the same direction.

  7. Penalties can be incurred for various infractions, such as a broken barrier or an incomplete steer wrestling maneuver. The cowboy must ensure that the technique is performed according to the rules to avoid penalties.

  8. Steer wrestling is a timed event, and the cowboy with the fastest time is the winner. The stopwatch is crucial in determining the outcome of the competition.

Steer wrestling requires a combination of skill, strength, agility, and courage from the bulldogger and their horse. It is a physically demanding and exciting event that showcases the cowboy's ability to control and maneuver a powerful steer in a short amount of time.

Tie-down Roping

Tie-down roping, also known as calf roping, is a rodeo event that involves a cowboy on horseback quickly dismounting, catching a calf with a lasso, and tying three of its legs together in as short a time as possible. This event requires precision, speed, and teamwork between the cowboy and their horse. Here's a breakdown of what calf roping looks like in a rodeo:

  1. The calf is placed in a chute, a narrow enclosure, to start the event. The cowboy, mounted on a horse, waits in a designated area adjacent to the chute.

  2. The calf is released from the chute, and as soon as it breaks a predetermined barrier, the cowboy starts the pursuit.

  3. The cowboy and horse chase the calf, and the rider must throw a lasso around the calf's neck while riding at full speed. The lasso is attached to the saddle horn.

  4. Once the calf is roped, the cowboy dismounts, sprints to the calf, and flanks it to the ground. The cowboy then ties three of the calf's legs together using a rope called a "piggin' string." This process must be done quickly and securely.

  5. After tying the calf, the cowboy throws their hands in the air, signaling that the tie is complete. The time is recorded when the cowboy's hands are raised and the tie is secured.

  6. Penalties can be incurred for various infractions, such as a loose tie or an incomplete tie.

  7. The event is judged based on time. The cowboy with the fastest time wins the calf roping competition. Times are typically measured in seconds, and the stopwatch is stopped when the cowboy signals that the tie is secure.

Calf roping is a traditional rodeo event that showcases the skills of both the cowboy and their horse. While it is a timed event, precision in roping and tying is equally important to avoid penalties. Calf roping is often part of a series of events in a rodeo, demonstrating the diverse skills and talents of rodeo participants.

Bareback Riding

In bareback riding, a judge evaluates the performance of the rider based on several key factors. Bareback riding is a challenging rodeo event where the rider attempts to stay on the back of a bucking horse without the use of a saddle. The scoring is subjective, and judges consider the following aspects when determining a rider's score:

  1. A significant portion of the score is allocated to the rider's spurring action. The rider uses spurs, which are strapped to their boots, to mark out the horse's movements. The quality, control, and synchronization of the spurring motion are crucial. Effective spurring not only contributes to the rider's score but also shows that the rider is in control and responding to the horse's movements.

  2. The rider must use only one hand, known as the rigging hand, to hold onto a handhold on the horse's rigging. The judge observes the rider's ability to maintain a secure grip while dealing with the horse's powerful and unpredictable movements.

  3. Judges assess the rider's overall balance and control throughout the ride. The rider must adapt to the horse's bucking and spinning to stay centered and avoid being thrown off. A rider who maintains composure and control during intense movements is likely to receive a higher score.

  4. The rider's free arm, the arm not in the rigging hand, should move freely in a natural swinging motion. This contributes to the overall aesthetics of the ride and shows that the rider is in balance and control. The free arm cannot touch the horse during the eight second ride.

  5. The horse's performance is also a critical factor in scoring. Judges consider the difficulty of the horse's bucking, its power, and its ability to create a challenging ride. The rider is more likely to receive a higher score if they successfully ride a more difficult and dynamic horse.

  6. A bareback ride must last for a minimum of eight seconds to qualify for a score. If the rider is able to stay on for the full eight seconds.

  7. Judges consider the overall impression of the ride, taking into account how well the rider handles the horse's movements and how effectively they demonstrate control, balance, and athleticism.

It's important to note that judges in bareback riding, like other rodeo events, have their own expertise and judgment. The scoring is subjective, and judges use their experience and knowledge to evaluate the rider's performance. The maximum score a rider can achieve is 100 points, with 50 points allocated for the rider's performance and 50 points for the horse's performance.

Saddle Bronc Riding

A winning saddle bronc ride in rodeo is a performance where the rider successfully stays on the back of a bucking horse for eight seconds while demonstrating control, style, and adherence to specific riding techniques. Saddle bronc riding is a classic and highly skilled event in rodeo, known for its combination of athleticism and finesse. Here are the key aspects of a winning saddle bronc ride:

  1. The rodeo bronc, also known as the "bucking horse," plays a crucial role in the success of the ride. These horses are specifically bred and trained for their bucking abilities, and each has its own unique style of bucking.

  2. The rider uses a specialized bronc saddle, which lacks a horn. The rider must hold onto a thick rein attached to the horse's halter with just one hand.

  3. A successful saddle bronc ride must last for eight seconds. The clock starts when the horse's front feet hit the ground outside the chute and stops when the eight-second mark is reached.

  4. The horse's goal is to dislodge the rider by a series of powerful, twisting, and high jumps. The rider's objective is to stay aboard by utilizing a spurring motion with their feet and maintaining control through balance and coordination.

  5. The rider's spurring action is a critical component of the ride. Points are awarded for the rider's spurring technique, the degree of difficulty in handling the horse, and overall control. Judges pay attention to the rider's body position, spurring action, and responsiveness to the horse's movements.

  6. Judges assign scores based on the rider's performance, the horse's bucking style, and the overall difficulty of the ride. The maximum score is 100 points, with 50 points designated for the rider and 50 points for the horse. Judges consider factors like control, style, and how well the rider adapts to the horse's movements.

A winning saddle bronc ride is a harmonious combination of the rider's skill, courage, and the horse's athletic ability. Achieving a high score requires not only staying on the horse for the required time but doing so with style and control, making it a thrilling and dynamic event in rodeo competitions.

Barrel Racing

Barrel racing is a high-speed rodeo event where a horse and rider navigate a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels set up in a triangular formation. The goal is to complete the pattern as quickly as possible without knocking over any barrels. This event is commonly associated with women's rodeo. Here's an overview of what barrel racing looks like:

  1. The arena is typically a dirt surface with three barrels set up in a triangle. The distance between the barrels is a standard measurement, and the pattern is the same for all competitors.

  2. The rider and horse enter the arena at full speed, making a cloverleaf pattern around the three barrels. The pattern involves a series of turns and sprints.

  3. The clock starts as soon as the horse and rider cross a predetermined starting line. The clock stops when they cross the finish line after completing the cloverleaf pattern.

  4. The rider must navigate the barrels in a specific order – typically first the left barrel, then the right barrel, and finally the center barrel. The rider can choose start the pattern to the left or the right, but the order must be maintained.

  5. Knocking over a barrel results in a time penalty.

  6. Barrel racing requires a combination of speed, agility, and precision. The horse must be trained to respond quickly to the rider's cues and make tight turns around the barrels.

Barrel racing is not just a test of speed; it also demands a strong bond and communication between the rider and the horse. The teamwork between the two is crucial for a successful and fast run around the barrels. The excitement of watching a skilled rider and a well-trained horse navigate the course is a highlight of rodeo events.

Team Roping

Team roping, also known as heading and heeling, is a rodeo event that involves two riders working together to capture and restrain a steer as quickly as possible. The event requires teamwork, precision, and skill. Here's a breakdown of how team roping works:

  1. The event begins with a steer and two riders placed in separate roping boxes, narrow enclosures that hold the horses and riders before the start of the competition.

  2. A steer is released from the chute, and it runs into the arena. The steer has a head start before the riders can pursue it. If the steer does not reach a predetermined distance from the chute before the riders leave the roping box, they have “broken the barrier” and will be assessed a penalty.

  3. Team Roles:

  • The first rider, known as the header, aims to rope the steer by its horns, neck, or both. The header must make a clean catch, and the rope must be tight to bring the steer to a stop.

  • The second rider, known as the heeler, follows closely behind the header. The heeler's goal is to rope both hind legs of the steer after the header has made the initial catch.

  1. The header must catch the steer as quickly as possible, and the heeler must then make a successful catch. The clock stops when the steer is fully roped, both the header and heeler have their horses facing each other with tension on the ropes, and there is no slack.

  2. Once the header has caught the steer, they turn their horse to the left, bringing the steer's head around. The heeler then ropes the steer's hind legs while keeping their horse positioned to the left.

  3. Penalties can be incurred for various infractions, such as catching only one hind leg or breaking the barrier before the steer is released.

  4. Team roping is a timed event, and the team with the fastest time is the winner. Times are typically measured in seconds, with any penalties added. Teams with the lowest total time win the competition.

Team roping requires excellent horsemanship, precise roping skills, and effective communication between the header and heeler. It's a fast-paced and challenging event that showcases the partnership between riders and their horses in the pursuit of successfully roping and restraining a steer.

Bull Riding

Bull riding is a rodeo event where a cowboy attempts to ride a bucking bull for a specified period, usually eight seconds. The rider, known as a bull rider, holds on to a flat-braided rope, which is wrapped around the bull's chest, using only one hand. The goal is to stay on the bull for the full eight seconds while demonstrating control and style.

Here's a breakdown of the bull riding process:

  1. The rider sits down on the bull and uses a bull rope strung around the bull’s girth to form a handle to secure their hand to the bull.

  2. The chute gate is opened when the rider signals they are ready to ride. The bull is released into the arena, the rider has to be prepared for an explosive burst of energy as soon as the gate swings open.

  3. The clock starts when the bull's shoulder or hip breaks the plane of the chute gate. The rider must stay on the bull for eight seconds. This duration is considered a qualified ride.

  4. The rider uses their free hand for balance and style and the free hand cannot touch the bull during the eight second ride. The hand holding the rope is crucial for maintaining grip. The rider's legs are often placed forward, with spurs used to encourage the bull to buck more vigorously. The rider aims to stay centered and balanced on the bull.

  5. Bulls are bred and trained to buck aggressively. The bull attempts to dislodge the rider through intense and unpredictable bucking, spinning, and twisting movements.

  6. At the eight-second mark, a horn or other loud sound blares the notify the rider they have made a successful ride. If the rider falls off before completing the eight seconds, it is considered a no-score.

  7. Bull riding is judged based on both the rider's and the bull's performance. The rider is scored on their ability to stay on the bull, style, and control. The bull is also judged on its bucking performance, agility, and difficulty.

  8. The maximum score for a bull ride is 100 points, with 50 points allocated to the rider and 50 points to the bull. Judges consider various factors such as control, style, and the difficulty of the ride.

Bull riding is one of the most popular and high-energy events in rodeo, known for its excitement, danger, and the athleticism required from both the rider and the bull. It's a challenging sport that showcases the skill and courage of the participants.

bottom of page