Saddle Bronc Takes Control

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Rodeo's "classic" event -- saddle bronc riding -- has roots that run deep in the history of the Old West.

Ranch hands would often gather and compete among themselves to see who could display the best style while riding wild horses.

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Saddle bronc riders must synchronize spurring action with the animal's bucking efforts to receive a high score.

It was from this early competition that today's event was born.

Each rider must begin his ride with his feet over the bronc's shoulders. A rider who synchronizes his spurring action with the animal's bucking efforts will receive a high score.

Other factors considered in the scoring are the cowboy's control throughout the ride and the length of his spurring stroke.

Model spurring action begins with the rider's feet far forward on the bronc's point of shoulder, sweeping to the back of the saddle, or "cantle," as the horse bucks. The rider then snaps his feet back to the horse's neck a split-second before the animal's front feet hit the ground.

Disqualification results if the rider touches the animal, himself or his equipment with his free hand, if either foot slips out of a stirrup or if he drops the bronc rein.

-- Courtesy PRCA

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