Team Roping Has Five Contestants

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Dennis Fendler/Roundup

Rodeo’s only true team event has two ropers — a “header” and a “heeler” — working together to rope a steer in the quickest time possible. But the ropers aren’t the only contestants in the event, their horses are part of the team and then there is the adversary — a fast moving, wily little steer. So the sport has five contestants.

In rodeo’s only true team event, two ropers — a “header” and a “heeler” — work together to rope a steer in the quickest time possible.

The header is the first out of the box.

He may rope the steer around the head and one horn, around the neck or around both horns, which are reinforced for the event.

As with all timed events, if the header leaves early and breaks the barrier, a 10-second penalty is added to the team’s total time.

After making his catch and dallying, the header rides to the left, taking the steer in tow.

The heeler moves in and ropes both hind legs.

Catching only one hind leg results in a 5-second penalty.

If the heeler tosses his loop before the header has changed the direction of the steer and has the animal moving forward, a “crossfire” violation is called and the pair is disqualified.

The clock is stopped when the slack has been taken out of both ropes and the contestants are facing each other.

Team ropers need quickness like brain surgeons need medical training.

Without quickness, a team roper certainly won’t qualify for the National Finals Rodeo. And without a trip to the NFR, he certainly can’t win a world title.

Courtesy of PRCA

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