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Steer Wrestling

Steer WrestlingSteer wrestling is the quickest event in rodeo. The objective of the endeavor is evident in its name: to wrestle a steer to the ground using only leverage and strength. The steer wrestler, or "bulldogger," begins his run behind along with his "hazer," a second cowboy whose task is to keep the steer from veering away from the steer wrestler. The steer is given a head start, the length of which varies depending on the size of the arena. After the steer has reached the "score line" and the barrier is released, the steer wrestler and hazer chase the steer on their specially trained horses until the bulldogger is in position to dismount onto the racing steer. The steer wrestler slides down the right side of this horse until he can reach the steer's right horn and grasps the left horn in his left hand, then digs his heels deep into the dirt and uses leverage to bring down the steer. All this occurs in 3 to 5 seconds, depending on the size of the arena. In addition to sheer strength, timing and balance are important to the steer wrestler. The hazer also is an important factor in the equation. Without him, the setter could quickly sour a run by veering away from the steer wrestler. Many hazers also supply horses for the steer wrestlers. If the steer wrestler places, the hazer receives a share of the payoff. If not, both go home empty-handed.


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