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Calf roping

Calf roping is a rodeo event that features a calf and one mounted cowboy. The calves are moved through narrow pathways leading to a chute with spring loaded doors. A 10 foot rope is fastened around the calf's neck which is used to ensure that the calf gets a head start. On one side of the chute will be the calf roper who will attempt to rope and tie the calf.

The calf roper is behind a taut rope fastened with an easily broken string which is fastened to the rope on the calf. When the roper is ready he calls for the calf and the chute man trips a lever opening the doors. The suddenly freed calf breaks out running. When the calf reaches the end of his rope, it pops off and simultaneously releases the barrier for the roper. The roper must throw his rope in a loop around the calf's neck.

Once the rope is around the calf's neck, the roper signals the horse to stop suddenly while he simultaneously steps off the horse and runs to the calf. The horse will back away from the calf to maintain a steady pull on the rope. When the roper reaches the calf he picks it up and drops the calf on its side. With calves weighing 200-300 pounds this takes a bit of effort. Once the calf is on the ground the roper ties three of the calf's legs together with a pigging string. The tradtional tie is called two wraps and a hooey. The roper returns to his horse, mounts, and moves the horse forward releasing the tension on the rope. An official will now time six seconds. If the calf is still tied at the end of the six seconds, an official time for the event is taken. The official time starts when the gate opens and ends when the roper finishes tying the calf.

Top professional calf ropers will tie a calf in 7-10 seconds.