LINDEN — Team roping is not only a blast for family and friends to watch, but is truly the only team event in the rodeo.
It takes perfect timing and concentration from the pair of ropers, a header and a heeler, who manage to control their horse while working in sequence with one another to rope the steer.
The Linden Valley Arena hosted a four-day team roping event for the Memorial Day weekend honoring all the brave men and women who served our country.
There were all kinds of cash, saddle and trailer prizes with hundreds of teams competing.
Ropers start from their boxes, one on each side of the chute waiting in anticipation for the steer to come shooting out. The steer gets an automatic running head start depending on the size of the arena, but it normally runs about 10 to 15 feet.
Team ropers spend hours and days of their life perfecting timing, technique and form with one another while controlling the horses at the same time.
The head roper first ropes the steer’s head during the steer’s starting dash.
He or she will then go after the steer’s left side, throwing the loop of the rope around the steer’s horns or neck.
The header will then secure the steer by wrapping the remaining rope around the saddle horn. He or she will then start to pull the steer to the left across the arena from behind.
Once the header has done his or her part, the heeler will follow behind the steer and when ready throw the loop so that it circles both steer’s back feet, and that is one of the most challenging parts to team roping.
The heeler will then simultaneously rap the rope around the saddle horn while stopping the horse at the same time, which ends the team’s run.
Time at the end of the run is called by the flagger who follows the roping team until both ropes are taut and both ropers’ horses are facing the steer.
There are also plenty of costly penalties that can be added to a team’s time. For example, 10 seconds are added to the finishing time if the header or heeler breaks the barrier before the steer’s head start is finished. If the header or heeler misses roping the steer the team will get no points.
There were so many talented team ropers throughout the weekend rodeo who showcased all the hard work and dedication that goes into team roping.
If you are looking for something fun and exciting to do with the family on the weekends rodeo is the place for you. For information on future rodeo events, go to the Linden Valley Arena website.
The region’s biggest rodeo of the year is coming up as well at the Round Valley Rodeo Grounds in Eagar for the Fourth of July weekend. It will start at 5 p.m. on July 2 and resume at 1:30 p.m. on July 3, marking the community’s 109th consecutive year hosting this event. Live music, a junior rodeo and team roping events will be included to the main rodeo.