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Saddle Bronc Riding
Saddle bronc riding: rodeo’s classic event. It derived from the practice of breaking saddle horses, but evolved into an event that combines strength, style, grace, and rhythm.
The contestant sits in a saddle, much like one that you would ride comfortably in, but there is no saddle horn at the front. For support, he holds a thick rein that is attached to the horse’s halter, which can only be held with one hand.
When the gate swings open, the cowboy’s dulled spurs must be in front of the horse’s shoulders, a move referred to as a “mark out”. If the rider misses his mark out, he receives no score. Every move that the rider makes is in effort to remain synchronized with the horse’s movements. When the horse’s front feet are on the ground, the rider’s heels must be in front of the horse’s shoulders, toes turned out. As the horse resets for its next move, the cowboy brings his heels to the back of the saddle, all the while anticipating the animal’s next jump. If the contestant touches any part of the horse or himself with his free hand he is disqualified.
Judges score on various movements: the horse’s bucking quality, the cowboy’s control aboard the horse, as well as his synchronized spurring action.
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