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Tie Down Roping

Tie down roping (formerly and sometimes still called "calf roping") is a competitive event in which a mounted contestant ropes a calf, then jumps off the horse to tie the calf down. It is a timed event in which the fastest time wins.

While tie down roping is competed in by men more commonly than women, depending on what (if any) governing body sanctions a tie down roping the contestant may sometimes be a woman.

At the start of the tie down roping event a calf is standing in a box or chute with a gate at the front. A contestant on a horse, the tie down roper, is to the right of the calf. When the tie down roper nods his head the calf is let loose into the arena with a running head start.

After the calf has reached the end of his head start a barrier in front of the tie down roper (usually a small diameter rope) is released so that the tie down roper can begin his pursuit. If the tie down roper does not allow the calf its proper head start (known as "breaking the barrier") he is assessed a 10 second penalty.

The tie down roper can catch the calf in a manner called "catch as catch can." This means the roper is allowed to rope any part of the calf as long as he turns loose of the rope when throwing, and that the calf is still caught when he first touches it.

After the tie down roper catches the calf he jumps off of his horse and runs to the calf to tie it down. The roper must lay the calf on its side and tie any three legs. If the calf is laying down when the roper gets to it, the roper must get the calf up and lay it back down himself.

While the time stops when the roper declares the tie is complete by throwing his hands in the air, the roper must get back on his horse, give the calf slack in the rope, and then the calf must remain tied for six seconds in order for the time to count.

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