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Bulldogging

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Bulldogging is a rodeo sport where a steer is released from a chute and a horse-mounted rider chases the steer, jumps off the horse next to the steer, and wrestles the steer to the ground by twisting its horns.

The preferred method of wrestling the steer to the ground is to lean from the galloping horse which is running beside the steer, transferring the weight of the upper body to the neck of the steer, with one hand on the near horn of the steer and the far horn grasped in the crook of the other elbow. One then drops one's feet from the horse, digging the heels into the ground in front of the steer, to cause a braking action to bring the animal to a stop. Twisting the head of the steer toward one by pushing down with the near hand and pulling up and in with the far elbow, causes the steer to become unbalanced and fall to the ground.

Rules of the sport include: The bulldogger's horse must not break the rope barrier in front of it at the beginning of a run, but must wait for the animal escaping from the adjacent chute to release the rope. If the steer stumbles or falls before the bulldogger brings it down, he must either wait for it to rise or help it up before wrestling it to the ground.

Bill Pickett invented the sport of bulldogging near the end of the 1800's, and introduced it to the world as a part of his act in the 101 Wild West Show in 1905. His version of the sport was performed on longhorn steers. After having grasped the horns of the fleeing animal, he would twist its head skyward and bite its upper lip in order to subdue it, after the fashion of the cowdog breed known as bulldogs. This is where the sport got its name. Pickett died at age 70, after having been kicked in the head while working horses at the 101 Ranch. Will Rogers announced his funeral on the radio.


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