Brute strength and leverage are required to be a successful steer wrestler, or bulldogger. Each contestant starts behind a barrier on horseback and then chases his steer. The steer wrestler is assisted by a hazer, a cowboy on horseback tasked with keeping the steer running in a straight line.
When the bulldogger’s horse pulls even with the steer, he eases down the right side of the horse and reaches for the steer's horns. After grasping the horns, he digs his heels into the dirt. As the steer slows, the cowboy turns the animal, lifts up on its right horn and pushes down with his left hand in an effort to tip the steer over. After the catch, the steer wrestler must either bring the steer to a stop or change the direction of the animal’s body before the throw. The clock stops when the steer is on his side with all four legs pointing the same direction.