1980sOther SportsRodeo

1983 World Championship Mesquite Rodeo – Bare Back Riding & Saddle Bronc Riding


Bareback bronc riding is an event  in rodeo.  Bareback bronc riding is one of the most physically demanding events in rodeo….with a high injury rate. Cowboys ride the bucking horse one-handed and cannot touch or hang onto anything with their free hand. They use a leather rigging that includes a handle that resembles that of a suitcase….where riders place their hand. To make the event more difficult for the rider….they are required to lean back and spur in a highly stylized manner that was never historically used in actual practice. The cowboy’s spurs have to be above the point of the horse’s shoulders at the first jump out of the chute….and those spurs must touch the horse on every jump for the full-time required for a qualifying ride. They have to stay on the horse and ride with proper technique for 8 seconds in order for the ride to be judged and scored. Once the ride is complete the rider may hold on to the rigging with both hands until reached by the pickup riders….who assist the rider in getting off the still-moving horse and safely on the ground. Cowboys are judged on their control and spurring technique….and the horse is judged on their power, speed, and agility. These two scores are added together to make the total, with the highest possible score being 100 points.

In saddle bronc, the rider uses a specialized saddle with free swinging stirrups and no horn. The saddle bronc rider grips a simple rein braided from cotton or polyester and attached to a leather halter worn by the horse. The rider lifts on the rein and attempts to find a rhythm with the animal by spurring forwards and backwards with his feet in a sweeping motion from shoulder to flank.

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