Tie-down roping is another event born on Old West ranches, starting when sick calves were roped and tied down for medical treatment. Today tie-down roping in the rodeo arena depends largely on the teamwork and relationship between a cowboy and his horse.
The calf is given a head start, then horse and rider give chase. The contestant ropes the calf, dismounts and runs to the animal. After catching and flanking the calf, the cowboy ties any three of the animal’s legs together using a "pigging string" he carries in his teeth until it's needed.
If the calf is not standing when the contestant reaches it, the cowboy must allow the animal to stand. When the cowboy completes his tie, he throws his hands in the air as a signal to the judge. He then remounts his horse and allows the rope to become slack.