Monday, February 09, 2009

Skilled hazers are steer wrestlers most prized partners

...Coming into the short go-around in sixth place, K.C. had hoped for a nice paycheck, but a hard running steer stole his chances for that. At least his eighth place in the short-go will cover part of the fees and gas for their 1,800 mile trip — once last weekend for the first/second go, then again this weekend for the short-go. Zack’s chances for some earnings hadn’t been as bright as K.C.’s since his first two times hadn’t placed him, but he made the long trip with K.C. to serve as his hazer. We knew he was just as disappointed with the results since a hazer who helps a bull dogger into the win column can earn one-eighth of the paycheck. The Denver winner of the short-go won $7,713; his hazer earned $964 — not a bad deal for a weekend trip. Particularly for the winter “big barn” rodeos (think Denver, Ft. Worth, Rapid City, Houston) but often throughout the season, contestants choose to fly to a rodeo and “borrow” a doggin team. Since winter rodeos are often weeks apart and most contestants aren’t yet committed to driving every single day like they do during the summer season, flying is often more feasible. As long as they’re confident someone they know with a “good” doggin team is planning to haul to the rodeo, they’ll make this choice. Most doggers either have their own team and a traveling partner who serves as a hazer, or they travel in a pack using a top quality horse that may or may not belong to someone in the rodeo rig. In addition, there are some non-contestant cowboys who haul to rodeos (usually regionally) to provide a team and serve as the hazer in hopes of making some money. In that instance, rodeo etiquette usually dictates that one-fourth of the winnings go to the owner of the doggin team. In other situations where only a hazer is needed, one-eighth of the winnings go to him. The arrangements made among contestants vary greatly...From Ag Journal

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