Steer wrestling can trace its roots back to ranch work in the old West.
Often older juvenile cattle were too big to be roped and brought to the ground for branding or veterinary care, so the cowboys had to catch them and wrestle them to the ground.
Wrestling a steer requires more than brute strength.
The successful steer wrestler, or bulldogger, is strong, to be sure, but he also understands the principles of leverage.
The steer wrestler, on horseback, starts behind a barrier, and begins his chase after the steer has been given a head start.
If the bulldogger enters the arena too soon, he receives a 10-second penalty.
The steer wrestler is assisted by a hazer, another cowboy on horseback tasked with keeping the steer running in a straight line.
When the bulldogger's horse pulls even with the steer, the cowboy eases down the right side of the horse and reaches for the steer's horns.
After grasping the horns, he digs his heels into the dirt.
As the steer slows, the cowboy turns the animal, lifts up on its right horn and pushes down with his left hand.
After the catch, the steer wrestler must either bring the steer to a stop or change the direction of the animal's body before the throw.
-- Courtesy PRCA