Team Cavender’s Takes on the 2022 Texas High School Rodeo Finals
Thousands of miles, months of practice, and an unimaginable amount of blood, sweat, and tears, has led to the final stretch of the 2022 high school rodeo season for our Texas rodeo athletes. Traveling from every corner of the Lone Star State, these athletes will compete in Abilene, Texas, June 2-11, at the Texas High School Rodeo Finals for a chance to qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo held in Gillette, Wyoming. We are extremely proud of our Team Cavender’s athletes that qualified for the finals this year in their respective events. Here is a list of our qualifying athletes as well as a little about what goes on during each event.
Team Cavender’s had athletes qualify for the Texas High School Rodeo Finals in two roughstock events, with Gus Gaillard, Benny Proffitt, and Cooper Lane qualifying in saddle bronc riding, and John Crimber qualifying in bull riding.
Roughstock events consists of bull riding, saddle bronc riding, and bareback riding, with saddle and bareback taking place on horseback. In these events, judges award points to not only the cowboy, but to the stock as well. The judges are looking to see how well the rider is in control while keeping a rhythm with the stock’s movements. When scoring the stock, judges are looking for “rankness,” a combination of agility, power, and speed.
In all three events, the athlete must ride the stock for a total of 8 seconds, all while only using one hand to stay atop the stock. If the rider’s other hand touches the animal, the ride is disqualified, and no points will be awarded. Saddle bronc and bareback riding share many similarities, with the main differences being how the riders are connected to the horse. In saddle bronc, riders have a rein attached to the horse’s halter, while bareback riders hold on to a handle, similar to a suitcase handle, that goes around the horse's girth.
Timed event athletes team up with their horses to compete against the clock. Opposed to Roughstock, the ranking of athletes come from the speed they complete their event, instead of a points system. This means that the fastest time wins in steer wrestling, tie down roping, team roping, goat tying, breakaway roping, barrel racing, and pole bending.
Steer wrestling, also known as bulldogging, is a two-cowboy sport. The team consists of a hazer, and the steer wrestler. The team works in conjunction as the hazer keeps the steer running in a straight line, while at full speed, the wrestler slides off his horse, turning the steer by the horns to get it flat on the ground. The time stops as soon as all four legs are facing the same direction with the steer on the ground.
Tie Down Roping
Cowboys in tie down roping start in a box on their horse and give the calf a head start. Once the calf breaks the barrier, the cowboy chases after it attempting to catch it with a rope. Once the calf has been roped, he dismounts his horse to flank the animal to lay it on the ground. He must then tie three of the calf's legs together and throw his hands in the air for the clock to stop. If the calf does not stay tied for six seconds, the run is disqualified, and no time is recorded.
Sage Gaillard will be representing Team Cavender’s at the Texas High School Rodeo Finals this year for goat roping.
Goat tying, along with breakaway roping, pole bending, and barrel racing are exclusively all-women events at the high school and collegiate levels. Goat tying follows many of the same rules as tie down, such as having three legs tied and the goat staying tied for six seconds. Where the event differs is the goats are staked to a rope in the ground 100 feet from the starting line. Riders will race from the starting line to the stake, dismount their horse at full speed, then run to the goat.
Breakaway roping takes the other part of tie down that goat tying lacks. Just like tie down, the breakaway roper sits in the box waiting for the calf to leave the chute and break its barrier before it can leave the box. Once the barrier is crossed by the calf, the roper leaves the box, roping the calf and then stops their horse. Once stopped, the claf will continue to run, breaking the nylon string that connects the rope to the saddle and stopping the time.
Barrel racing has riders starting out at full speed as they enter the arena, the rider is given the choice to take her horse to the left barrel or right barrel first. Once the first barrel is rounded, they will continue to run in a clover-leaf pattern, round the adjacent barrel then finally the barrel opposite of their start. If, throughout their run, they knock down a barrel, a five second penalty will be added to their final time.
Jada Trosper will be representing Team Cavender’s during the Texas High School Rodeo Finals in the pole bending event.
Pole bending challenges the speed and agility of the horse and rider as they must run a course of a certain pattern. The pattern consists of 6 poles spaced 21 feet apart. Riders run to the farthest pole before weaving down and back, then running alongside the poles to race for the finish line. Like barrel racing, five seconds are added to the final time for each pole knocked over.
There are even more events at the Texas High School Rodeo Finals that you will want to watch, even if our Team Cavender’s members aren’t a part of them.
Team roping is another two-person rodeo event, consisting of a header and a heeler. Once the steer leaves the chute and break its head-start threshold, both contestants come out of their boxes, with the header focusing on roping the horns of the steer. A legal catch includes both horns, the neck, or the neck and one horn. Once caught, the header turns the steer to give the heeler a good position to rope both hind-legs. If the heeler only catches one leg, a five second penalty will be added to their final time.
Cutting is an event where the horse and the rider must move into a herd of cattle and cut one cow out of the herd. Once separated from the herd, the cutter and their horse must keep the cow separate until the cow is uninterested in returning to the herd. Riders then go get another cow, aiming on working three head in 2 and 1/2 minutes.
Reined Cow Horse
Beginning in the National High School Rodeo Association in 2014, reining cow horse is a three-part event where riders pilot their horse through rein work, herd work, and cow work. In the rein work, riders take their horses through a precise pattern of circles, spins, and stops. Herd work is based off the same principles as cutting, and cow work is where a single cow is released and the horse must keep the cow on one end of the arena, followed by running the cow down the railing of the arena and turning back without help from the fence, and finally ending with keeping the cow in the center of the arena, causing the cow to circle in a tight area.
Now that you have the basics of each of these rodeo events under your belt, go see them in action in Abilene, Texas at the 2022 Texas High School Finals Rodeo June 2-11. We cannot wait to watch our Team Cavender’s athletes compete alongside the finest student rodeo athletes the state of Texas has to offer.