The steer roper is behind a taut rope fastened with an easily broken string which is fastened to the rope on the steer. When the roper is ready he calls for the steer and the chute man trips a lever opening the doors. The suddenly freed steer breaks out running. When the steer 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 steer's horns.
Once the rope is around the steer's horns, the roper signals the horse to speed up and circle around the steer pulling the rope around the steer's legs and knocking the steer over or tripping the steer. The roper will jump off the horse while the horse continues pulling the dazed steer along the ground. The horse stops and the roper ties three of the steer'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 backward releasing the tension on the rope. An official will now time six seconds. If the steer 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 steer.
Top professional steer ropers will tie a steer in 10-15 seconds.