Monday, May 19, 2008

Joe's Boot Shop 4th Annual Calf Roping

We saw our first calf roping down at the Curry County Fairgrounds on the same weekend as the Chuck Wagon Cook-Off, back on May 2-4. I kind of embarrassed myself by clapping wildly when the first fellow I saw finished tying up his calf. In the middle of my cheering I suddenly realized that no one else up in the stands was paying any attention at all. It was just another calf roping to them; leaving behind for the moment any sympathy I might be having for the calf's feelings, it was an incredible feat of amazing horse and cowboy athletism to me.

When the calf is released, the cowboy takes off after him, lassoes him and leaps off the right-hand side of his horse in an astounding airborne move. The well-trained roping horse holds the rope taut so the calf can’t get away while the cowboy leans over the 200-pound calf and grabs his legs and brings him to the ground. You can click on the above photo and look really carefully to see that the cowboy has a short rope in his teeth called a “piggin' string” that he uses to tie the calf’s feet together.

The whole thing is over in just a few seconds—the fastest times recorded have been in the 5.7 to 6.7 second range! This kind of roping is called “tie-down roping.” There is another kind of calf roping called “team roping” which I hope to see soon because, contrary to all possible predictions, I have become a rodeo fan.


Erikka said...

what is the need for speed behind these exhibitions though? in reality, do cowboys have to rope calves at top speed? why or why not?

i hate it when they slam the calf into the looks so rough. i am not judging them...or thinking they are wrong...but i do feel bad for the calf. how does this sport at all help or benefit the cows?

clairz said...

I asked these very questions and a nice cowboy gave me some answers, which I'll be writing about in the next few posts. Stay tuned...


Anonymous said...

I cannot wait til we move and I can go to a rodeo. I love watching them on tv, and will finally get to see one up close and personal.