Rodeo's Most Amazing World Records

Cowboy bull riding at the Luxton Pro Rodeo in Victoria, BC.
Dave Blackey / Getty Images

Rodeo keeps its own set of world records and statistics just like other sports. Each event has its own times and scores that stand as testaments to the skills and competitiveness of the modern cowboy and cowgirl. Some of the rodeo records date back decades. Read on the see the most impressive rodeo records.

Highest Score in Bareback Riding

Four Texas natives share the record, according to the "Standard-Times."

94 points

  • Wes Stevenson: Dallas, 2002 
  • Will Lowe, Omaha, Nebraska, 2003
  • Ryan Gray, Eagle, Colorado, 2009
  • Tilden Hooper, Silver City, New Mexico, 2010

Fastest Time in Steer Wrestling

In 1930, Oral Zumwalt set a record in steer wrestling that may never be broken, but the sport did not use a barrier at the time. Decades later, with a barrier in place, three wranglers tied for the record, with a time that was just a shade slower than Zumwalt's barrier-less effort.

2.2 seconds 

  • Oral Zumwalt, 1930

2.4 seconds

  • Jim Bynum and Todd Whatley: Marietta, Oklahoma, 1955
  • Gene Melton: Pecatonia, Illinois, 1976
  • Carl Deaton: Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1976

Fastest Time in Team Roping

The fastest team-roping time—a tenth of a second faster than the official record—is only an unofficial record because it occurred at a Canadian rodeo that is not recognized as a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event. So, the record is only recognized in Canada. Still, it's fast.

  • Shane Schwenke and Mike Beers: Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 2009

3.5 seconds

  • Travis Tryan and Cory Petska: Las Vegas, Nevada, 2008 
  • Clay Tryan and Patrick Smith: Las Vegas, 2005
  • Blaine Linaweaver and Jory Levy: San Angelo, Texas, 2001

Highest Scoring Saddle Bronc Ride

The Bronc Ride may be among the most exciting in the sport, as the links to Youtube videos (below) show. You can even hear Doug Vold commenting on his word record as the video plays.

95 points

Fastest Time in Tie-Down Roping

Lee Phillips did not leave the box when he set his world record in this event, and it is not considered an official record. In rodeo competitions, the box is a barrier area the rider and horse stand in to give the steer a head start. Ricky Canton did leave the box before setting the official world record in the event.

5.7 seconds

  • Lee Phillips: Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, 1978

6.3 seconds

  • ​​Ricky Canton: Strathmore, Alberta, 2005

Fastest Time in Barrel Racing

Arena sizes and conditions vary greatly from rodeo to rodeo so times are measured from the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo held annually in Las Vegas.

13.46 seconds

Highest Scores in Bull Riding

Bull riding is perhaps the toughest—and most dangerous—event in rodeo competition. The record holders in the event are considered among the elite riders in the sport. 

100 points / Perfect Score

98 points