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Bareback Bronc Riding is perhaps the most physically demanding event of the rodeo, and next to Bull Riding, contains some of the wildest action. Scoring for this event is based half on the bucking action of the bronc, and half on the control and spurring technique of the rider. Only allowed to grasp the "rigging" with one hand, the cowboy must stay on the horse for 8 seconds, and is disqualified if he touches his equipment, himself, or the animal with his free hand.

The bareback rider starts out in the chute with his feet placed above the break of the horse's shoulders. If the cowboy's feet are not in the correct position when the horse hits the ground on the first jump out of the chute, the cowboy is disqualified for failing to "mark out" properly. The cowboy then pulls his spurs along the horse's neck or shoulders towards himself while the bronc is in the air, then snapping his spurs back to the horse's neck just before its front feet hit the ground.

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