High school rodeo final coming to town

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 30, 2015

Members of the Alabama High School Rodeo Association will be riding into Andalusia on June 10-13 for the 2015 high school state finals at the Covington Center Arena.


Cowgirls and cowboys from all over the state will be in town competing for the top spot in the state in their events.


They will compete in 11 different events including, bareback racing, barrel racing, breakaway roping, bull riding, calf roping, cutting horse, goat tying, pole bending, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding and team roping.


In bareback racing, four judges will pick a score between one and 25, with a perfect ride scoring a 100. Riders’ scores are determined by balance, rhythm and control. The horse must be ridden for eight seconds, and the rider cannot touch the horse with his free hand.


In barrel racing, the cowgirls get a running start with time beginning when the horse’s nose reaches the starting line. Racers must then run the barrels in a cloverleaf pattern. A five-second penalty is assessed to the final time for each barrel that is knocked over.


In breakaway roping, the cowgirls start when the barrier drops, and must rope the calf and let go of the rope, allowing the rope to break free from the saddle. Riders will be assessed a 10-second penalty for broken barrier.


In bull riding, similar to bareback, cowboys must ride the bull for eight seconds. The rider is disqualified for being bucked off or touching the bull with his free hand. Riders are scored by balance, timing and control. The bulls are also scored depending on the amount of spins, rolls and twists. A high kicking spin is more difficult for the rider than a flat spin.


In calf roping, cowboys rope a calf out of the gate, and must dismount their horse, throw the calf by hand and tie up three of the calf’s feet. The tie must hold for six seconds after the cowboy calls for time and puts slack in the rope. Ten-second penalty is assessed for breaking the barrier.


The cutting horse event is where rider and horse work a herd of cattle and must remove one from the herd with little disturbance to the heard. This is done during a two and a half minute time period. Penalties are assessed for the cow getting back to the herd and anytime the back fence is used for turn back purposes.


In goat tying, the goat is tied to a stake with a 10-foot rope. The cowgirl must ride up, dismount her horse and throw the goat by hand before tying three feet. Similar to calf roping the tie must hold for six seconds after the rider throws her hands up to call time.


Pole bending is another event for cowgirls. During the event, the girls must run around six poles positioned in a straight line that are spaced 21 feet apart. A five-second penalty is assessed for each pole knocked over.


Steer wrestling is an event for cowboys, where the rider must wrestle a steer to the ground. The steer is given a head start out of the gate, and the rider must overtake the steer, leaving his saddle as the horse reaches the steer’s tail. Timing is critical as the point is to turn the steer immediately to use its own momentum to bring it to the ground.


Saddle bronc riding is similar to bare back and bull riding with the exception of using a saddle. The horses are rated depending on the difficulty during the ride. Riders are disqualified for being bucked off, changing hands, losing stirrup or touching the animal or saddle with his free hand. Rides must last eight seconds.


Team roping is the final event, and may be comprised of two boys, two girls or a boy and a girl. The header goes for the head and must rope the steer around both horns, the neck, or half a head. A five-second penalty will be assessed to for a head catch that also catches the front foot. The healer goes for the back legs of the steers, and time is taken when both ropers make the catch.