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Steer Undecorating

Photo: Andrew Hennell

Steer undecorating is the female  version of steer wrestling. Rather than dismounting the horse and pulling the steer to the ground, the cowgirl has to gallop up along side the steer and remove the ribbon attached to its back.

The event begins with the cowgirl in a starting box secured behind a rope barrier.  The cowgirl gives a signal that she is ready and the steer is released from the starting chute.  The steer receives a head start that is determined by the length of the arena. When the steer reaches its advantage point, the barrier is released and the cowbgirl races out after the steer.

The cowgirl is allowed a ‘hazer’ to aid her in lining up the charging steer. A hazer is another mounted cowboy that gallops his horse along the right side of the steer and keeps it from veering away from the cowgirl.  The hazer is the difference between winning and losing.  A brightly coloured ribbon is attached to the steer’s back and the cowgirl must ride along side the steer, lean down and remove the ribbon.  As soon as she has the ribbon, she sits up and holds the ribbon aloft to signal her victory to the judge.

Steer undecorating is the fastest events in rodeo, with the winning times often being 2-3 seconds. These girls can ride!!


Steer undecorating is a timed event with the fastest time winning.  Time starts from the time the barrier is released and ends when the cowgirl removes the ribbon from the steer’s back and holds it above her shoulder.

If the cowgirl breaks the barrier before the calf reaches its advantage point, she will instantly incur a ten second penalty.

The only other penalty is that all timed events have a 30 second time limit.

Arena conditions determine barrier length.  Length of score may be no longer than the length of the bar less one metre and no shorter than two metres.

Competitors must be 18 or over (this is the only event with a minimum age).

If the ribbon falls off the steer, a re-run will be allowed.