Like many rodeo events, tie-down roping can be traced back to the working ranches of the Old West. The roper begins his run from “roping box,” with a barrier rope across the open front. The box is adjacent to a chute, containing the calf. One end of the breakaway barrier is looped around the calf and released as soon as the calf reaches its advantage point. If the roper beats the calf out of the chute, a 10-second penalty is added to his final time and considered a “broken barrier.”
Once the calf is caught by the cowboy’s loop, the horse is trained to come to a stop and pull back to remove any “slack” or extra rope to keep the calf still. The cowboy quickly dismounts and sprints down his rope to the calf and turns the calf by hand, referred to as “flanking”. If the calf is not standing when the cowboy reaches it, he must allow the calf to stand before he proceeds to flank it. Once flanked, the roper ties any three of the animal’s legs together with a “pigging string” – a short looped rope. To signal that his run is complete, the contestant throws his hands in the air. He then remounts his horse and must wait six seconds to ensure that the calf does not kick free. If the calf does not remain tied, the roper receives no time. A fast run is under nine seconds.
2022 PRCA World Champion: Caleb Smidt, Bellville, TX
2023 VDRR Champion: Brush Minton, 7.8 seconds
VDRR Arena Record: Cimarron Boardman, 7.0 seconds, 2017
This year’s Tie-Down Roping is sponsored by: