USTRC and Animal Welfare

One of the USTRC's most critical business points is providing quality cattle for our team roping events. USTRC event producers select the very best cattle available and provide excellent care for these fine animals. USTRC members have come to expect nothing less than the highest level of excellence set by our team roping producers and stock contractors in delivering truly top-drawer livestock to the team roping industry.

There is a definite fiscal incentive to promote excellent animal care. Regular purchase prices for roping cattle average $600-1000 per head, and many of our producers and stock contractors have herds valuing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the team roping industry, an injury to a single animal can cost hundreds of dollars in either husbandry efforts, veterinary costs, or direct losses at the sale yard. Our team roping producers and stock contractors view their cattle as their most valuable asset and do not tolerate abuse of their stock in any form.

In addition, all USTRC events require contestants to catch their end of the steer prior to wrapping ('dallying') the remaining loose rope around their saddle-horn; this style of roping contest (Dally Team Roping) proves very humane as slippage and give at the saddle-horn prevent the animals (both horses and cattle) from taking a solid jerk as the slack ropes come tight (this is also the reason that so many ropers sever fingers in this sport). Team Ropers also avoid jerking the steer during competition, as doing so actually worsens their competitive time drastically.

The USTRC does make one exception to the dally rule: ladies, and ropers that reach a certain age have the option of tying their ropes to the saddle-horn prior to making their runs (the USTRC feels that these competitors generally do not have the dexterity or hand speed to prevent injuring themselves). However, even within these distinct groups, headers are never permitted to tie on to avert the chance that a hard jerk would pull an animal down.

In addition to the obvious financial and competitve reasons, the USTRC clearly spells out and enforces a strict guidline of rules directly promoting the humane treatment of livestock, both inside and outside of competition. The USTRC takes these issues very seriously and will continue to do everything in its power to promote safety for animals, contestants, and spectators of the sport of team roping.

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