Depending on sanctioning organization and region, other events such as breakaway roping, goat tying, or pole bending may also be a part of some rodeos.
Each event has its own set of detailed rules, and it is our intent to give a brief overview of such rules here so you may derive greater enjoyment from watching rodeos.
Rodeo events fall into one of two categories: Riding Events which are commonly called "Rough Stock" events, and Timed Events.
Rough Stock includes the dynamic but extreme dangerous events of Bull Riding, Bareback Riding, and Saddle Bronc Riding (Bucking Broncs).
It is so dangerous, that on occasion some competitors have actually lost their lives.
Stock is the term used by cowboys to refer to the livestock such as the bulls, broncs, calves and steers.
You are judged and given a score if you are able to ride for the prerequisite 8 seconds, but disqualified and given no score if you are bucked-off before that time.
You can also be disqualified if the hand you have in the air for balance - which is known as the "free hand" - touches your body, the stock you are riding or your equipment, and there are various other rules to the events as well.
Bareback bronc riding is a rough and explosive rodeo event where cowboys ride rough horses without the benefit of saddle or rein.
The bareback rider starts out in the chute with his feet placed above the break of the horse's shoulders.
If the cowboy's feet are not in the correct position when the horse hits the ground on the first jump out of the chute, the cowboy is disqualified for failing to "mark out" properly.
The cowboy then pulls his spurs along the horse's neck or shoulders towards himself while the bronc is in the air, then snapping his spurs back to the horse's neck just before its front feet hit the ground. Once the ride is completed, pick-up men swoop in to 'pick up' the rider and set him safely on the ground.