It’s 70 degrees outside, the rodeo stadium is packed and the crowd is going wild. Suddenly, the loud speaker comes on, the announcer commences the count for the barrel racing competition and…they’re off! The horse and its rider are working together in symphony; concise, swift movements taking them around all three of the barrels, as the timer ticks. They move faster and faster, desperately trying to move smooth and fast, riding around each barrel without knocking them over. The rider’s focus is intent, the audience is tense, your heart is racing as you watch the amazing display of talent and skill merged together in one amazing event. Before you know it, its over and everyone is cheering the exciting finish. How’d they do? Well, that can be determined by guidelines set by the National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA).

In 1992, the NBHA revolutionized the barrel racing industry by pioneering the divisional format, which allows riders of all skill levels a chance to win money and prizes in barrel racing competition. There are over 23,000 members in twelve countries. There are 19 rules set by the NBHA in which determine how the rider can get points, the conditions of the arena, the pattern of the barrels, and consequences for knocking a barrel down, an incomplete pattern, an uncontrolled horse and other matters. A standard size arena is 130 feet wide by 200 feet long, so the barrel distances are as follows: 60 feet from the starting line, called the score line, to the 1st or 2nd barrels. 90 feet between the first and second barrels. 105 feet from the 1st and 2nd barrels to the 3rd barrel. The horse and its rider are more competitive with a fast time with no penalties.

Now that we’re all on the edge of our seats, our excitement has built and its time for the roping event! The riders are getting on their horses, the cattle chute is held closed, then all at once, GO! The steer is on the run, the cowboys and their horses close in quickly from behind. After countless hours of relentless practice, the time has come, the ropes are raised, aim is set as the first roper (the header) ropes the horns, and the second roper (the heeler) quickly ropes the back legs! Five to fifteen-seconds and it’s all over. Time is kept, penalties are calculated, and rank is set. Team roping guidelines are set by the United States Team Roping Championships (USTRC).

The rodeo is a great place for excitement, adrenaline, competition, and family time. While most rodeos only held as an annual event, here at Lucky J’s Steakhouse, we bring the rodeo experience to you weekly! Bring the family for an evening of fun and fellowship and enjoy a steak from our fine dining establishment. Each month Lucky J hosts a variety of equine events including AQHA horse shows, NRHA reining horse shows, NCHA cutting horse shows, Barrel Races sanctioned 4-D barrel races, and USTRC Affiliate team roping jackpots. Looking for a new hobby to perfect while enjoying the weather? We offer roping clinics too! It’s fun for the whole family!

To learn more about all we have to offer, come visit our Joplin, MO location and let us show you the excitement that rodeo has to offer.