Rodeo Events

Bareback Riding

Instead of a saddle, a double-thick leather pad, called a rigging, is cinched on the bronc's back. No stirrups or rein are used in the event. To qualify, the rider must mark the horse out of the chute by keeping his spurs over the break of the shoulders until the first jump out of the chute is completed. The bareback rider will be disqualified if he touches the animal or equipment with his free hand or if he is bucked off before the eight-second ride is completed.

Using only one hand, the cowboy must hold onto the leather handhold of the rigging. The rider tries to spur the horse on each jump, reaching as far forward as he can with his feet and then bringing his ankles up toward the rigging.

I got started riding broncs when I was about 15, I guess, back home. In Vernon, we have a bunch of bucking horses and stuff and one day I just decided I'd start. There was a bronc riding competition at a rodeo close to our house and there was a bunch of guys just starting out and they were getting on. My dad thought it was a pretty easy ride and so thought I should get on, so I did. Ever since that day, I have been getting on and that's brought me a long ways and gave me a lot of good things. It's a good thing, the riding and the friends I have, things I own, and all the good times.

Jay Louis, Okanagan, Head of the Lake Reserve, Vernon, British Columbia, November 1996

The rules for this event were provided by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, Calgary, Alberta.

Kenton Randle, Métis (from Fort Vermilion, Alberta), riding at the Calgary Stampede, 1995. The pick-up man (left) is Gary Rempell from Kyle, Saskatchewan.
Photograph by Morgan Baillargeon, CMC K95-1341

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