When The Legends Die

Octavious Bartek

Rodeo Saddle Bronc Riding

This is a sport where a person tries to ride a saddled horse for just 8 seconds. Sounds easy enough right? Think again!

A person is not just riding any ordinary horse, but one that is wild at heart. These horses once released from the chute will do anything and everything to buck a rider off. So trying to ride for only 8 seconds may be the toughest 8 seconds of this person's life.

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The sport of rodeo saddle bronc riding came about from the days of breaking wild horses to use on ranches. Ranchers would corral wild horses, put saddles on them, and then ride the horses trying to tame them. The more often a rancher would ride a wild horse and stay on it, the more tame the horse would become. Overtime this became a sport rather than a way a rancher could get horses.

The Horses Used For Riding

The horses used for saddle bronc riding are quarter horses that for some reason just like to buck more than others. Often times these horses were actually supposed to be used for equine activities (activities involving horses) such as racing or showjumping. Sadly they couldn't be used for those sports since tame horses are required, but luckily they can still be used for the wild sport of saddle bronc riding. Sometimes horses are "bred for bucking", too. Actually there isn't any way that a horse can be scientifically bred to buck more aggressively. The term "bred for bucking" is used to describe how horses are bred to be greater is size and strength so they can buck harder than before not more aggressively.

Billy Etbauer

This man is one of the greatest cowboys to ever saddle bronc ride. He made a living out of this sport earning $3,015,377 total! That money didn't come easy at all, though, as saddle bronc riding is for the toughest of cowboys. Born in Huron, South Dakota, January 15, 1963, Billy Etbauer grew up a cowboy competing in the rodeo. He became a 5 time world champion at saddle bronc riding holding numerous records. One of his records is for best score in American saddle bronc riding. He set this record in 2003 during Kesler Championship Rodeo's Cool Alley. Etbauer scored an outstanding 93 and he was even at the age of 40 when doing so! He is now retired and in the Prorodeo Hall of Fame.
Billy Etbauer vs Cool Alley - 03 NFR (93 pts)
Above is Billy Etbauer's amazing score of 93!
Canadian Finals Rodeo Saddle Bronc Riding


The video above explains how a ride is scored. First of all a rider must complete an 8 second ride to even be scored. How a rider is scored, though, is based on his/her technique when riding the horse and the horse's bucking ability. Also to even count a score, the rider must mark his/her horse upon its release from the chute and initial jump. A mark is done by the rider's heels being placed on the horse's shoulders. From now on control is the key factor for a rider to receive a good score. Based on how the rider moves his/her body throughout the ride will determine whether or not he/she will get a good score. One simple error that will disqualify a rider from scoring is if his/her hand touches their body or the horse's. If a rider is talented enough to hold on for a full 8 seconds, then hopefully the rider is given a good score because he/she deserves it.