Jule Hazen has been stellar so far in steer wrestling at the National Finals Rodeo and is challenging Casey Martin for the gold buckle. Martin had led the standings most of the year. Bray Armes, Dean Gorsuch and Dakota Eldridge, one of three Nevada cowboys in the NFR, also have shown well in Las Vegas.
Steer wrestling is a combination of strength, timing and teamwork. The steer gets a head start and is chased by a cowboy on horseback — helped by a hazer who tries to keep the steer running in a straight line.
When the bulldogger pulls even with the steer, he eases down his horse and grabs the steer’s horns. He digs his heels into the arena dirt to slow the steer. The cowboy turns the animal, lifts up on its right horn and pushes down with his left hand.
He either must bring the steer to a stop or change the direction of the animal’s body before the throw, or he is disqualified. The clock stops when the calf is on its side with all legs pointing in the same direction.