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About National Finals Rodeo Bronc Riding

About National Finals Rodeo Bronc Riding

What’s your favorite event in the National Finals Rodeo event? I love the NFR bronc riding event. So, if you love this event, then I guess we are in the same quarters. But what do you know about the National Finals Rodeo bronc riding event? If you are new to the whole event, this is your chance to narrow those spaces and catch up as fast as you can.

What is Bronc Riding?

Bronc riding is simply one of the many rodeo events. The event involves a participant riding on a bucking horse, which is sometimes called the bronc or simply a bronco. The bronco attempts to throw off their rider as much as they can while the rider tries to hang on with all their life for over eight seconds.

Origin of the Bronc Riding Event

When bronc riding was originally founded, it was based on the major horse breaking skills that were often depicted by the working cowboy. However, as time flies by, the event has changed into a highly sophisticated competition.

The modern competition utilizes the horses, which are specially bred to provide their riders with strength, agility, and, more importantly, the bucking ability. Bronc riding is recognized by and organized under the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and also the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA). And it’s officially broadcast on Wrangler Network live online.

How is Bronc Riding Done?

Each participant will climb onto a horse where they will both be held in a wooden enclosure known as the bucking chute. The rider signals when they are ready and the bucking chute is immediately opened. The horse and the rider will burst into the main arena, and the horse starts to buck.

On the very first jump off the chute, the horse rider must have the heels of their riding boots in complete contact with their horse, but above the shoulders. This must be done before the front legs of the horse hit the bare ground. The rider will try to stay on the horse for up to or more than eight seconds without ever touching the horse using their free hand.

If you manage to complete the ride (eight seconds and more), you are awarded a score within a scale of 0 to 50. The horse is also given a score within the same range. The horse that bucks in the most spectacular manner score more points than the horse that bucks in a rather straight line and without any significant changes.

Types of the National Finals Rodeo Bronc Riding

When it comes to the National Finals Rodeo Bronc Riding, there are two types of events that come with this type of riding. We have the bareback bronc and the saddle bronc styles. These two styles of riding are very different.

Saddle Bronc

In saddle bronc riding, the rider will use a specialized saddle. The saddle has free-swinging stirrups but comes without a horn.  The saddle bronc rider will grip on a simple rein that’s braided from either cotton or even polyester before being attached to a halter that’s made out of leather and worn around the horse.

Why the Rein?

This rein is intended for the rider to hold onto and attempt to find their rhythm with the horse. The rein helps the rider to spur the horse forwards and backward in a sweeping motion.

Bareback Bronc

The bareback rider, on the other hand, doesn’t use the saddle or even therein. However, they use a rigging that will consist of leather and rawhide. It’s attached to the surcingle and then placed behind the withers of the horse. This will enable the rider to lean back and also spur with the up and down motion right from the point of the shoulder of the horse toward the main rigging handle.


Getting the horse to buck most spectacularly is the best part of it all. Even so, the event is fun and has been one of the greatest rodeo events of all time. As such, you can always look forward to the bronc riding competition.

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