Steer Wrestling News
Steer wrestling news from around the Web. Please scroll down to see a brief article on steer wrestling, and links to shopping for steer wrestling items.
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Steer wrestling (also commonly called "bull dogging") is a competitive event in which a contestant leans off of a running horse to grab a running steer by the horns, then leaves the horse entirely to lay the steer on its side. It is a timed event in which the fastest time wins.
At the start of the steer wrestling event a steer is standing in a box or chute with a gate at the front. A man on a horse, the steer wrestler, is to the left of the steer. Another man on a horse, the hazer, is to the right of the steer. When the steer wrestler nods his head the steer is let loose into the arena with a running head start. After the steer has reached the end of his head start a barrier in front of the steer wrestler (usually a small diameter rope) is released so that the steer wrestler can begin his pursuit. If the steer wrestler does not allow the steer his proper head start (known as "breaking the barrier") he is assessed a 10 second penalty.
The hazer chases after the steer on the opposite side of the steer wrestler. It is the hazer's job to help the steer wrestler by trying to keep the steer running in a straight line. Steer wrestling is the only event in rodeo that allows the use of a helper during actual competition (since the hazer does not pay an entry fee and does not receive any official prize money they are considered to be a helper and not a contestant). However, the role of a good hazer in a winning steer wrestling run cannot be overstated and it is therefore customary for a steer wrestler to pay the hazer a percentage of his winnings.
Steer Wrestling and Bill Pickett
Steer wrestling was first done by a man named Bill Pickett who was born in Texas in 1870. A life–long cowboy from a young age, Mr. Pickett one day became angry at a steer that would not enter the pens. He galloped his horse alongside the steer, jumped off, and wrestled the steer down by its horns. Soon, Mr. Pickett was steer wrestling for paying crowds.
In addition to being a working cowboy, Bill Pickett was a star performer for the Miller Brothers' 101 Ranch Wild West Show.
- Bill Pickett is the first African-American cowboy inducted into the National Rodeo Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 1971, almost 40 years after his death in 1932.
- Steer wrestling is sometimes called bull dogging because early steer wrestlers (including Bill Pickett) sometimes bit the steer on the lip the way bull dogs were known to do when catching livestock.
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