Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

34th Annual Newhall-Saugus Rodeo.
Bonelli Stadium.

Actor Roger Moore is Saturday's grand marshal; actor Peter Brown is Sunday's grand marshal. Newhall's own Andy Jauregui provided stock, while fellow Newhall resident Edith Happy did some trick riding.

Producer: Lyle S. Greenman

Stock Contractor: Andy Jauregui

Secretary: Edith Happy

Publicity: Al Martell

Programs: Potter Publications Inc.

Sound System: National Sound Service

Action starts at 2 p.m.

Grand Parade featuring Rodeo Queen Carolyn Komant with Roger Moore, Grand Marshal, on Saturday; Peter Brown, Grand Marshal, on Sunday.

How to Watch a Rodeo

Put a handle on a wild horse, turn him out of the shelter of the chute and try to ride him as he turns every way but inside out.

That, at a glance, is what the average American sees in bareback bronc riding. But the real rodeo fan sees a lot more in this event than a series of wild, hairy rides.

He looks for the actions that make a good ride better and listens for the announced scores that will tell him who's won. He'll watch the judges in the striped vests for the signals that indicate whether — and why — a contestant disqualifies. Actually, the disqualifications are frequently the easiest things for the spectator to spot for himself. It's scoring the ride that gets tricky.

First thing that a bareback rider must do is spur his bronc out of the chute. The rules require him to have his spurs over the break (swell) of the shoulders when the bronc's front feet hit the ground first jump out of the chute. If he "misses him out" you'll see it. And you can get a tip off on the close calls by glancing at the judges. If they watch the rest of the ride, the rider undoubtedly qualified on that point. But if they turn their backs, put down a "goose egg," the cowboy's picture-word for the zero the judge marks in his book, the rider is disqualified.

The judge's signal for missing a horse out of the chute, given to the announcer and the crowd after the ride is over, is a slap to the shoulder. The ride lasts for eight seconds, a modern rule designed to spare scarce bucking horses that recognizes that most broncs buck their best — or worst — in the first dozen jumps . During that time, the rider can't touch any part of the horse, or the rigging with his free hand. If he does the judge will signal the disqualification by grabbing a wrist over his head when the ride is over.

The judges mark both the horse — on how well he bucks — and the rider — on how well he spurs. The system is simple enough for the fan to apply for himself. The "spread" on marking the horse is from 65 to 85. A high marked bronc will buck high every jump and finish each buck with a high, hard kick behind. If he turns back midway through the ride or bucks in a slow circle, so much the better.

Broncs that run halfway across the arena before bucking, or slow down their pitching halfway through the ride, are marked down accordingly. The difference in the way the horses buck — and are scored — is made up for in the draw. Bareback riders are matched with their mounts by lot.

The rider is scored from 1 to 20. A good rider will spur the horse continuously over the shoulder for the full eight seconds, timing his kicking to the horse's bucks so that horse and man seem to work in coordination. Mark down the man who can't keep his spurs ahead of the bronc's shoulders or who "takes a-hold" by tucking the hooks safely into the rigging cinch. The judge's markings on both horse and ride are combined and the scores of both judges are t hen added together for the announcement.

An average horse, for example, will be marked 75 by each judge, and an average ride will earn a marking of 10 on each side. Each judge has a score of 85; added together they would be announced as a marking of 170 — just average. Usually the winners of a bareback riding contest will mark 175 or better. The highest marking likely to be seen at any rodeo would be 190, and a very poor showing by both horse and man will be marked under 160.

The bareback rider has only a simple rigging — a smooth surcingle with a handhold he grips between his thighs — o hold himself on the horse. As long as one hand is free, anything goes, riding sideways, backward or upside down.

But if he bucks off, he's out. There's no judge's signal for that, since a buckoff is a disqualification obvious to everybody — even the little old lady from Philadelphia.

LW3103: pdf of original program book purchased by Leon Worden. Download individual pages here.


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