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Tie-Down Roping

Tie-down roping is a rodeo sport that involves capturing a calf with a lasso and quickly dismounting from the horse to tie its legs together. The participant enters on a horse at a fast speed, chases the calf (which had been given a head start), and throws a lasso to rein in the calf. While the horse’s motion slows down, the participant dismounts, turns over the calf while placing it on the ground, and ties three legs together with a small string. The participant must step back (often getting back on the horse) and wait for six seconds before the result is counted. As this is a timed competition, the fastest time wins the competition.

Is this activity known by any other names?

Calf roping

What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

Rodeo sports developed from cattle ranching tasks in the western United States. These sports became professionalized in the late 1800s as several major competitions, including the Calgary Stampede, were established. Their popularity has grown recently in the GTA, with upwards of 50 rodeo events taking place over the calendar year. Tie-down roping, specifically, was developed from the technique used to restrain calves when administering medical treatment or branding them. After being approved as a rodeo sport, it quickly spread to Alberta and then other parts of Canada as part of rodeo tours (although it is illegal in some jurisdictions).

Who takes part?

Males and females of diverse ages may participate, although many rodeo athletes are White adults from rural areas.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

Rodeo competitions occur throughout the year. The Ontario High School Rodeo Association hosts several competitions throughout the school year. The Ontario Riding Association hosts professional and amateur rodeo events on a monthly basis. Professional rodeo circuits also host events in the GTA area occasionally during the year.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

The Ontario High School Rodeo Association; Ontario Rodeo Association; Canadian Rodeo Association

Cultural Significance

While rodeo sports do not hold cultural significance with specific ethnocultural groups, these activities and their associated “cowboy culture” can be viewed as symbolically important in some rural Canadian communities.

Is there anything else we should know?

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