Rodeo bareback rigging celebrates 95 years, rodeo bucking chute 100 years | TheFencePost.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Rodeo bareback rigging celebrates 95 years, rodeo bucking chute 100 years

Bascom Ranch
Rodeo pioneer and old time cowboy, Earl W. Bascom, thought up, designed and made rodeo’s one-handed rigging in 1924 and the side-opening bucking chute in 1919.
Photo courtesy Bascom Ranch

The 95th year of rodeo’s one-hand bareback rigging and the 100th year of the modern rodeo bucking chute were celebrated during this year of 2019.

Rodeo pioneer and old time cowboy, Earl W. Bascom, thought up, designed and made rodeo’s one-handed rigging in 1924 and the side-opening bucking chute in 1919.

Bascom’s rigging and his bucking chute have since become standard pieces of equipment at rodeos around the world.

Before Bascom’s inventions, rodeo contestants were riding bareback broncs using two hands holding the horse’s mane or using a two-hand rigging. And the bucking chutes were variations of the “shotgun” chute.

Earl Bascom, who was born in Vernal, Utah, in 1906 but raised in Canada, gained fame as a rodeo champion in Canada and the United States, and received international recognition for his rodeo equipment designs. He cowboyed and rodeoed in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho in the 1920s and ’30s.

After his rodeo career, Bascom became internationally acclaimed as an artist and sculptor known as the “Dean of Rodeo Cowboy Sculpture,” being the first professional rodeo cowboy to become a professional cowboy artist and sculptor.

Bascom started rodeoing in 1916, competing in and winning championships in the three roughstock events of saddle bronc, bareback and steer or bull riding, plus the timed events of steer decorating and steer wrestling.

He made his first side-opening bucking chute in 1916 on the Bascom Ranch in Welling Station, Alberta. In 1919, on the family ranch in the Lethbridge area, he redesigned his bucking chute to a reverse-opening side-delivery bucking chute which became the standard of modern rodeo.

For bareback bronc riding, Bascom made and used a variety of riggings before designing and making his one-hand rigging in 1924 on the family ranch in Stirling, Alberta Canada.

Bascom took a section of rubber belting discarded from a threshing machine and cut out the entire rigging in one piece.

The handhold was folded back and riveted to the main body of the rigging with dee rings riveted to each side for the latigos.

This rigging became rodeo’s first one-hand bareback rigging when it was used at the Raymond Stampede in Alberta Canada in 1924.

That same year, Bascom refined his design making another rigging out of leather and rawhide.

With sole leather for the rigging body and strips of leather with rawhide sewn between for the handhold, it had sheepskin glued under the handhold to protect the knuckles.

In the late 1930s when the Cowboy Turtle Association (forerunner of today’s ProRodeo Cowboys Association) was formed, “Bascom’s Rigging” was used for the official sanctioned pattern.

Variations of Bascom’s rigging of 1924 and his bucking chute of 1919 have since become world-wide rodeo standards, used at rodeos in North America, Central America, and South America, from Hawaii to Japan to New Zealand and Australia, as well as in Europe and South Africa.

Offsprings of Bascom’s bareback riggings and bucking chutes were part of the narrative and history of the recent Canadian Finals Rodeo, the Indian National Finals Rodeo, the European Finals Rodeo, the South African Rodeo Finals, the New Zealand Finals Rodeo, and the Australian Finals Rodeo, as well as the on-going National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

The bareback riding event has been part of the National Finals Rodeo since the “Super Bowl of Rodeo” began in 1958.

Earl Bascom passed away in 1995 in California and has since been recognized by rodeo associations as far away as Australia and Europe, and honored by several international halls of fame including the Canadian ProRodeo Hall of Fame and the ProRodeo Cowboys Association. ❖


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User