Team Roping is as its name implies: Rodeo’s only true Team event!
If a team roping header isn’t quick, you won’t find him at the Reno Rodeo. Headers need quickness like brain surgeons need medical training. To win money at the most professional rodeos, team roping headers must accomplish a myriad of duties in less time than it takes the average person to yawn.
First of all, headers must charge out of the box on horseback (without breaking the barrier), chase down a fast-racing steer and rope him around his protected horns, neck or “half-head,” a partial horn-neck catch. Then the header must turn the steer to the left, giving his partner, called a heeler, a chance to rope the steer’s hind feet. The run is completed when the steer is secured, and the team ropers’ horses are facing each other on opposite sides of the steer.
In rodeo’s only true team event, two ropers – a “header” and a “heeler,” work together to catch a steer. After making his catch, the header rides to the left, taking the steer in tow. The heeler moves in and ropes both hind legs. Catching only one hind leg results in a five-second penalty. If the heeler tosses his loop before the header has changed the direction of the steer and has the animal moving forward, it’s called a “crossfire,” and it results in disqualification.