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International Gay Rodeo Association
Rodeo Production Guidebook


Either men or women may perform all events in Gay Rodeo. In all but camp events and Team Roping, men compete only against men and women compete only against women. IGRA rules specify that all competitors must be of at least the legal age of majority to sign contracts as prescribed by the regulations of the principality having legal jurisdiction over the geographical area where the rodeo is being held.

The equipment used in each event is specified in the IGRA rulebook as to size or length and materials that can be used. The length of runs and length in feet between barrier lines are also listed in the IGRA rule book but not specified in detail in these brief descriptions of events.

IGRA rodeos are intended as amateur events. Even though competitors may win monies, ribbons, buckles and other prizes, the rules for events are intended to provide a safe environment for competitors of an amateur ability and to protect -the animals involved in competition as well.


In all rough stock riding events, two judges score riders. Each judge can award a maximum of 50 Points; 25 points to the animal and 25 points to the rider. The rider must demonstrate skill and control in the ride well attempting to increase the animal's performance by spurring. The animal is judged on its speed, strength of bucking and any unusual moves, which make it more difficult to ride. "Flank straps" are also used to enhance the animal's performance by placing the strap near the back legs of the animal (NOT on or around the genitals). All rides must last six [6] seconds, as opposed to the eight [8] second rides in other forms of rodeo. BAREBACK BRONC RIDING:
Bareback Bronc Riding is an event that originated in the rodeo arena. The average horse used in this event weighs about 1,100 lbs. and is flanked using a leather strap that is covered with soft fleece to protect the horse. The horse is flanked just in front of the hind legs; much like a person would wear a belt. The flank causes a natura1 response from the horse that is to buck. Most of the horses used in bronc riding are mares [females], although some are geldings [castrated males]. The flank strap does not cover or interfere with the genitals of the animal. The rider uses a "rigging" which is a leather device that cinches on to the horse just behind the shoulders. It has either one or two rawhide handholds. Riders may choose to ride with either one or two hands (4-point deduction for two- handed riding). This is the only mechanism available to the rider to stay on the horse. If a rider uses only one hand, the free hand cannot touch the horse or any other part of the rider or he/she will be disqualified. The rider must have his/her heels touch both sides of the horse and above the break in the shoulders when the horse makes his/her first jump out of the chute. This is called "marking out" and failure to accomplish this will result in a 5-point deduction for each side. The horse receives points for his power and bucking pattern while the rider receives points for strength, control, form and spurring action. Reasons for disqualification for this event include a "buck off' before the 6- second time or touching the horse, equipment or self with the free hand.

Bull riding is one of the most exciting events in rodeo due to the fact that the bulls usually spin and twist in very dramatic bucking patterns. The average bucking bull weighs between 1,500 and 2,000 lbs. and can make these erratic moves because the bull's hide is only loosely attached to its skeletal structure. Bulls are also aggressive by nature and will often charge its rider after the rider comes off the bull. A soft cotton rope is used as the flank strap to enhance the bull's bucking. The rider uses a heavy rope that is wound around the bull just behind the shoulders or front legs. The rider uses only one gloved hand to hold on to the bull while attempting to shift and balance to stay on for the ride. A bell is attached to the rope underneath the bull to warn arena personnel as to the location of the bull during the ride. The bull is scored based on its power and bucking pattern and the rider is scored on control, form and spurring action. Reasons for disqualification in this event include touching the animal, equipment or self with the free hand or being "bucked off" before the 6-second time.

This event is structured exactly like Bull Riding with the exception that the animal is castrated and thus the average weight of the animals is between 900 and 1,200 lbs. Steers are also less aggressive so there is usually little danger of the animal coming after the rider after the ride is over. Steers also tend to buck in more of a straight line with little spin or twisting. Most competitors start out learning to ride on steers before going on to bulls.

Chute dogging is a form of steer wrestling where the steer used weighs between 400 and 500 lbs. and the competitor starts the event in the chute with the steer as opposed to on horseback. It is a timed event and time starts when the chute gate is opened. The competitor must get the steer to a line 10 feet in front of the chute and then wrestle the steer to the ground using strength and skill. A legal fall means that all four feet of the steer are facing in the same direction as its nose when the steer is on the ground. Reasons for disqualification include loosing contact with the steer or tripping the steer.


These events are timed events where horse and rider race to accomplish a pattern or course in the least possible time. In all these events, riders are disqualified if their horse "breaks" the pattern or runs outside the prescribed pattern.

The horse and rider enter the arena where a straight line of 6 poles has been placed 21 feet apart. The rider races to the opposite end of the line of poles and weaves in and out, slalom style, and then repeat this back to point where he/she started and then races to the finish line. There is a five-second penalty for knocking down each pole.

Three 50-gallon barrels are set up in a triangular pattern in the arena and the horse and rider run a cloverleaf pattern around the barrels. The pattern can be started either to the left or the right. There is a five-second penalty for knocking over a barrel.

For the flag race, rider and horse run a modified triangular pattern around a three barrel-pattern. There are 5-gallon buckets on barrels one and three with pellets in them. The first bucket has a red flag in it that the rider must pick up as he/she rides by. The rider continues to run around a pole in and then plants the flag in the bucket on the third barrel. There is a five-second penalty for knocking over the first or second barrel or bucket. The rider is disqualified for not picking up the flag from the first bucket or if the flag misses or falls out of the second bucket.


Roping events are the oldest rodeo events, arising from the necessity of the cowhand to be able to do "doctoring "on the range and to handle roping duties at branding time. Roping events are timed events, testing the skill of the roper(s).

The roper stands in the roping box on either the left or right and is behind a barrier line next to the chute with the calf [200 to 300 pounds]. The roper must not cross the barrier line until after the calf s nose crosses the chute gate. The roper attempts to rope the calf by throwing the loop over the head and then pulling the slack out of the rope. The calf is roped and not "brought down". Time starts when the calf's nose clears the chute gate and ends when the slack is pulled out of the rope. Reasons for disqualification include throwing the rope at the calf or trying to snare or trap the calf. There is a ten-second penalty for crossing the barrier line before the calf comes out of the chute.

The mounted roper is behind the barrier line in the roping box, either on the left or the right. When the roper calls for the calf, the calf's nose must clear the chute gate before the horse crosses the barrier line. The roper cannot rope the calf until the horse's tail has-cleared the barrier line. The rope is tied to the saddle horn with cotton string so that when the calf is roped and the slack pulls out of the rope, the rope "breaks away" from the saddle. The roper may have two loops to achieve the catch. Again the calf is not "brought down" but merely roped. Time starts when the calf s nose clears the chute gate and ends when the end of the rope breaks away from the saddle horn. There is a ten- second penalty for crossing the barrier before the calf comes out of the chute and reasons for disqualification include not trying to snare the calf, accidental or intentional hang up of the rope, or abusive treatment the horse or the calf.

Two ropers work as a team in this event with one in each roping box on either side of the chute. A steer is used instead of a calf. When the steer clears the chute gate, both riders leave the roping'" boxes. The first roper is the "header" and must rope the head of the steer. After that roper has caught the head and wrapped the rope once around the saddle horn or "dallied" and turned the steer, the second roper or "heeler" must rope the back two feet of the steer. The rope must go from the ground up around the back two feet of the steer. After that roper has caught and dallied, the steer must be "stretched" or the slack pulled out of both ropes and the horses turned and facing each other for the time to end. The team has three loops possible. There is a five-second penalty for catching only one heel or foot. There is a ten-second penalty for crossing the barrier before the steer comes out of the chute.


These events have been designed to allow novice competitors an opportunity to compete along with more seasoned rodeo competitors. There are usually large numbers of competitors in these events and men and women may compete against each other. The prize purses in these events are usually relatively large for the rodeo. All camp events are timed events.

This is a two-member team event. One team member holds a rope, which is run through a metal ring to form a loop, and the loop is over the steer's horns when it is released from the chute. This team member stands 10 feet from the chute and the other team member stands 40 feet away and has a 2- foot piece of ribbon. When the whistle blows, the chutes are opened and the steer must be herded across the 10-foot line before the team member with ribbon can attempt to tie the ribbon on the tail of the steer. The team member with the rope must remove the rope from the steer's horns and then the team member with the ribbon, after having tied on the ribbon to the steer's tail, runs back into the chute and tags a timer. The team can be disqualified if they attempt to remove the rope or tie on the ribbon before the steer crosses the 10-foot line, if the ribbon falls off before the timer is tagged, or if the barrier lines are crossed before the whistle blows.

This is also a two-member team event. A goat is tethered with a ten-foot rope to a stake or weight ~ in the arena. The team must fit a pair of men's briefs on the goats hind legs and then run back across the finish line for a time. The team is disqualified if the shorts fall off the goat before they cross the finish line.

This is a three-member team event with one member being a man; one being a woman and the last team member being a person dressed in female attire or "drag". The cowgirl has the rope attached to the steer and is 10 feet from the chute. The cowboy and the drag are 40 feet from the chute. When the whistle blows, the gate opens and the object is to get the steer across a line 70 feet from the chutes. The steer has to then be maneuvered back across the 70-foot line with the drag straddled on the steer. All four feet of the steer must cross the finish line before time ends.

First posted May 16, 2015
Last update Jan 1, 2016