Ask the Pros--About the NFR

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Dear Logan,
I have noticed over the years that headers are roping farther and farther to the left of the steer. I also noticed that the second fastest time at the 2005 NFR was made by a header who was forced to take his shot directly behind the steer, he handled it nicely like it was no problem: old school. Isn't it still true that the shortest distance from point A to point B is a straight line? Seems like the handles are getting uglier for the want of a 3-4 second run. How about lengthening the score?

Thanks,
Mark, Ojai, Calif.

Dear Mark,
That's a great question. The Finals is so unusual. That's the only place we rodeo all year long like that. By the sixth round most of the head horses are very quick and they're breaking wide to get wide. Now you take horses like Speed's, Clay Tryan's and Matt Sherwood's; they break to the pin more and don't have as much drop. It's such a fast set up, you're throwing when you hit the line. You can't lengthen the score at the Finals because the barn is too short and the arena is too narrow. If you lengthened the score, the handles would get even uglier because you'd have way too much rope out there trying to be fast. With the wall that close, it would be even tougher than it is already.

Sincerely,
Logan Olson