Written by: Wendy Wiggins’ Words of Wisdom
If you have ever been to a rodeo, you have probably heard an announcer say a phrase you had never heard before. Whether you are new to rodeo or a life-long fan, it never hurts to learn something new or test your rodeo knowledge. Here is a list of 20 terms that you might run across while watching, discussing or reading about rodeo!
- Aggregate/Average- The collective or combined time or score for contestants who compete in more than one round.
- Box- The area timed event contestants and their horse back into before making their run.
- Broken Barrier/Broke Out- When the roper or steer wrestler fails to give the calf/steer a head start out of the chute they “broke the barrier” and receive a 10 second penalty on their time.
- Bronc Rein- The braided cotton or polyester rope a saddle bronc rider holds onto during their ride.
- Bull rope- A braided rope with a handhold in the center that wraps around the chest of the bull and a bull rider holds onto during their ride.
- Cloverleaf Pattern- The pattern barrel racers run around the barrels, which can be either a right and two left turns or a left and two right turns.
- Cowboy nod- The signal they use to signify they are ready to begin their run/ride.
- Draw- The animal and/or position a contestant is randomly assigned for their event. This takes place before the round and are selected randomly by judges.
- Flank strap- A soft sheepskin strap wrapped around the flank on an animal, like a belt that encourage them to buck
- Freehand- In rough stock events the riders can only hold on with one hand while the other remains in the air without touching he animal during the ride and this hand is known as the freehand.
- Hazer- A second horseback rider in steer wrestling responsible for keeping the calf moving in a straight line.
- Hooey- The last loop by the roper after wrapping three legs together in the tie-down calf roping.
- Hung up- When a rough stock rider cannot remove their hand from their gear before a dismount and is stuck hanging from the animal.
- Mark out- In bareback and saddle bronc riding when the horse’s front feet hit the ground on the first jump the rider must have their feet above the point of the horse’s shoulder. If they do not it is considered “missing the mark out” and they receive a no score.
- NFR- The National Finals Rodeo is where the top 15 contestants in the PRCA and WPRA standings compete to become a world champion.
- Pickup men– Two or more horseback cowboys in the arena helping riders dismount, removing the flank strap and moving stock to the exit gate after a ride.
- Piggin string– A short rope that tie-down ropers use to bind three of a calves legs together.
- Riggin’- A suitcase like handle a bareback rider uses to hold onto during their ride
- Re-ride– If a bronc or bull causes a low score for a rider due to their poor performance the rider will receive the option to take a “re-ride” and get a second chance on a new animal.
- Slack– A time before or after a performance when additional contestants not drawn in the allotted performance positions compete.
Hopefully this list taught you something new or helped you brush up on some common rodeo terms. Now you can walk into your next rodeo with a better understanding of the events, gear and calls the judges might make. If you ever hear a word or phrase used at a rodeo that you don’t know, just ask somebody. One of the greatest parts of rodeos, in my opinion, is that people are always welcoming and happy to share their knowledge of the sport with anybody interested!