Steer Wrestling


Steer wrestling, also known as bulldogging, is another event at the NFR and displays power and precision. With the world record sitting at 2.4 seconds, it’s the quickest event in the competition. This event aims to use strength and technique to wrestle a steer to the ground as quickly as possible. That said, timing is everything in this game. This sounds simple enough, but a steer generally weighs more than twice as much as the cowboy, and the two come together while traveling at 30 miles per hour.


Speed and precision make this event one of rodeo’s most challenging ones. Like in tie-down and team roping, the bulldogger starts on horseback in a box. A breakaway rope barrier is attached to the steer and stretched across the open end of the box. The steer gets a head start, determined by the arena’s size.


When the steer reaches the advantage point, the barrier is released, and the bulldogger takes off. If the bulldogger breaks the barrier before the steer reaches his head start, a 10-second penalty is assessed. When the cowboy reaches the steer, he slides down and hooks his right arm around the steer’s right horn, grasps the left one with his left hand, and, with his strength, slows the animal and wrestles it to the ground.


However, his work isn’t complete until the steer is on its side, with all four feet pointing in the same direction. That’s still not all; to catch the sprinting steer, he uses a “hazer,” another mounted cowboy who gallops his horse along the right side of the steer and keeps it from the bulldogger.


This help makes the effort of the hazer nearly as crucial as the efforts of the steer wrestler. Also, he sometimes supplies the bulldogger with a horse, and the hazer often receives a fourth of the payoff.


Overall, steer wrestling requires a perfect combination of strength, timing, and technique from the Cowboys to succeed in this lightning-quick event.


Below is the list of Steer-wrestling participants with NFR rankings and 2023 season earnings:


  1. ┬áDalton Massey (13) – $195,116.39
  2. Jesse Brown (21) – $161,613.04
  3. Tyler Waguespack (38) – $147,112.74
  4. Will Lummus (45) – $143,988.44
  5. Ty Erickson (75) – $124,275.40
  6. JD Struxness (34) – $122,396.63
  7. Dirk Tavenner (101) – $107,839.27
  8. Stephen Culling (102) – $106,058.23
  9. Cody Devers (105) – $104,737.84
  10. Stan Branco (106) – $104,573.34
  11. Jacob Talley (109) – $102,553.21
  12. Nick Guy (116) – $96,316.87
  13. Tyler Worley (117) – $93,983.17
  14. Bridger Anderson (118) – $85,591.91
  15. Don Payne (119) – $84,611.81
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