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History

The first ever Bronco Branding Competition was held in Alice Springs in May of 1984. It was run by the late R.M. Williams. Oodnadatta hosted its first Bronco Branding Event in August of 1984 at Macumba Station. In 1991, Queensland held its first Bronco Branding Competition at Stonehenge run by Jimmy Nunn. In 1995, Queensland introduced the Doubles Bronco Branding Events.
The Australian National Bronco Branding Championships have been held at:
1995: Winton, Queensland
1996: Oodnadatta, South Australia
1998: Longreach, Queensland
2000: Oodnadatta, South Australia
2002: Stonehenge, Queensland
2004: William Creek, South Australia
2006: Windorah, Queensland
2007: Oodnadatta, South Australia
2008: Camooweal, Queensland
2009: Marla, South Australia
2010: Birdsville, Queensland
2011: Marree, South Australia
2012: Longreach, Queensland
2013: William Creek, South Australia
2014: Stonehenge, Queensland
2015: Oodnadatta, South Australia
2016: Mt Isa, Queensland
2017: William Creek, South Australia
2018: Alice Springs, Northern Territory
2019: Camooweal, Queensland
2020: Cancelled due to Covid 19
2021: Quorn, South Australia
2022: Jundah, Queensland
2023 Marree, South Australia

The Competition

Novice:
Each team consists of four members, one catcher and three ground crew – a front leg roper, a back leg roper and a brander.  The catcher catches the clean skin and the ground crew leg ropes it to the bronco panel, scruffs it to the ground, paint brands and ear marks it.
Singles:
Each team consists of four members, one catcher and three ground crew – a front leg roper, a back leg roper and a brander.  The catcher catches the clean skin and the ground crew leg ropes it to the bronco panel, scruffs it to the ground, paint brands and ear marks it. This is a timed event.
There is one round during which each team is required to catch three calves. The six fastest teams progress to the finals round. The scores from both rounds are then added together to determine the final placings.
Doubles:
Each team consists of five members, two catchers with three ground crew, just as in the singles competition. The procedure is the same excepting that five calves are caught rather than three.


Check out the rules here.

You can experience this outback tradition by heading bush and coming along to the Bronco Branding Shows held throughout the South Australian Outback.

Point System

At the end of each event, the total points and times of each team will be recorded by the judges and ratified by the President or Secretary of the event organising committee.
To be eligible for circuit points, the team must compete in the final, and make time at that final.
Each year’s competition runs a complete calendar year plus one event. At the completion of the final event, Bronco Branding SA will determine which teams have accrued the most points for the season.
Those teams determined to have the most points shall be named South Australian Champions.
Should there be a draw, both teams will be named as joint champions. Should the teams have the same wins, both teams will be named as joint champions.

Singles Event: 
The team will take the name of the catcher.
To be eligible for points, the catcher must remain the same in all events.
The winner of the singles event will be deemed the South Australian Bronco Branding Singles Champion.

Doubles Event: 
The team will take a name of their own choice.
To be eligible for points, the team name and at least one catcher must remain the same in all events.
The winner of the doubles event will be deemed the South Australian Bronco Branding Doubles Champion.

Novice Event: 
The organising committee of any South Australian Bronco Branding Circuit event may elect to have a Novice category in running of the Singles Event. In such instance, the following criteria will be standard across the circuit:
A novice competitor is defined as any person who has never won an open singles bronco branding event. If a competitor has won one (1) open singles or two (2) novice events, they are then only eligible to compete in the open singles.
Any person who enters as a Novice and is later proved to be ineligible for Novice competition, will be banned from competing in South Australian Bronco Branding Circuit events. This person may appeal to the South Australian Bronco Branding Association, who may reverse or uphold the ban as they see fit.
Rules of the Singles event apply to any Novice competition, though time limits may be altered by the judge and clarified prior to beginning of the event.
If the singles and novice events are run together, each position in a team can only be done once by each person across both events.
If the novice event is run as a sole novice event it is not one of your 3 goes

Place Points
1st – 10
2nd – 7
3rd – 4
4th – 3
5th – 2
6th – 1

Rules

Singles Event

  1. The judge’s decision is final.
  2. The officials at each event will be:
    1. judge approved by the South Australian Bronco Branding Association, who will be assisted by another approved judge where possible, or another person who is deemed appropriate by the event organising committee
    1. timekeepers
  3. The judge or event organising committee may refuse right of entry to any competitor.
  4. The team will take the name of the catcher. Limit of four people to a team:
    1. 1 catcher – must remain the same in every circuit event to accrue points
    1. 2 leg ropers
    1. 1 brander
  5. (a) A competitor may compete a maximum of four times, in each event (Novice, Singles, Doubles) but only do each position once, or at the discretion of the committee organising the event. (b) If a ground crew member gets hurt to such an extent where they cannot participate, that team cannot have a replacement, the team will be disqualified. However, if the injured person was also a member of another team, and that team has not already participated then that team may get a replacement, providing the replaced person covers rule 5 (a). This applies to the first round of the singles.
  6. Starting positions for all rounds will be determined by a draw.
  7. Time will be taken when the judge takes the signal.
  8. The ground crew must not change position partway through an event.
  9. The ground crew must not enter the mob. Incorrect actions will incur a penalty.
  10. If the catcher loses control or is thrown from his horse, the team will be disqualified.
  11. The catcher must remain on his horse at all times. They must not dismount until time has been called. Team will be disqualified.
  12. The horse must not exceed a trot. Incorrect actions will incur a penalty.
  13. Approved Bronco Gear must be used by the team at judge’s discretion:
    1. Greenhide, cotton or nylon ropes are acceptable.
    1. Roping saddles are not allowed.
  14. In the case of broken gear:
    1. The clock will keep running.
    1. Only team members may assist.
  15. All calves must be caught with a clean neck catch. Horn catch is acceptable.
  16. The catcher must throw the rope across the centre line of the horse. They may not place the rope onto the calf. Incorrect actions will be deemed a foul catch.
  17. Foul catches must be released clear of the mob or at the panel. The catcher may re-throw.
  18. The calf must come to the panel on its feet. A dragged calf will incur a penalty. Deliberate dragging of a calf will result in immediate disqualification.
  19. Any rough handling of stock will incur a penalty. Deliberate mistreatment of stock will result in immediate disqualification of the team.
  20. The calf may be handled and leg-roped once clear of the mob.
  21. The calf may not be thrown, earmarked or branded until it touches the panel.
  22. The leg ropes must be below the knee or hock. Front leg rope must be wrapped on the bottom or second rail or below the second rail of front post, back leg rope must be wrapped around the post below the second rail. The calf must remain in place, with the beast securely on its side in the branding position, until the calf is branded or marked. Incorrect actions will incur a penalty.
  23. The judge will clarify the rail used before the competition begins.
  24. All calves must be leg-roped.
  25. All ropes and competitor equipment must be clear of and behind the panel for the clock to stop.
  26. An incorrect earmark or brand will result in a penalty. The judge will clarify the earmark and brand before the competition begins.
  27. Branding irons must be returned to their base before the clock is stopped.
  28. The first calf must be caught within 5 minutes. Three calves must be caught in 8 minutes. Times may be altered by the committee organising the event and will be clarified by the judge before the beginning of each round.
  29. If a beast is injured, the clock will stop. The judge will restart the clock once the injured beast is removed.
  30. If a calf goes through the panel, it has to be brought back to the correct side of the panel before continuing.
  31. In the event of a draw both teams will catch 2 calves
  32. 10 sec penalty for calf choking down on head rope.
  33. Team members shall remain the same in the 1st round and finals unless approved by the judges on the day
  34. If a team or teams is/are disqualified, then the top six (6) qualifying times will progress to compete in the finals.

Doubles Event

The judge’s decision is final.

  1. The officials at each event will be:
    1. 1 judge approved by the South Australian Bronco Branding Association, who will be assisted by another approved judge where possible, or another person who is deemed appropriate by the event organising committee.
    1. 2 timekeepers
  2. The judge or event organising committee may refuse right of entry to any competitor.
  3. The team will take the name of the catcher. Limit of five people to a team:
    1. 2 catchers – at least one must remain the same in every circuit event to accrue points.
    1. 2 leg ropers
    1. 1 brander
  4. (a) A competitor may compete a maximum of four times, (Novice, Singles, Doubles) but only do each position once, or at the discretion of the committee organising the event. (b) If a ground crew member gets hurt to such an extent where they cannot participate, that team cannot have a replacement, the team will be disqualified. However, if the injured person was also a member of another team, and that team has not already participated then that team may get a replacement, providing the replaced person covers rule 5 (a).
  5. Starting positions for all rounds will be determined by a draw.
  6. Time will be taken when the judge takes the signal.
  7. The ground crew must not change position partway through an event.
  8. The ground crew must not enter the mob. Incorrect actions will incur a penalty.
  9. If the catcher loses control or is thrown from his horse, the team will be disqualified.
  10. The catchers must remain on their horses at all times. They must not dismount until time has been called. Team will be disqualified.
  11. Horses must not exceed a trot. Incorrect actions will incur a penalty.
  12. Approved Bronco gear must be used by the team at the judge’s discretion:
    1. Greenhide, cotton or nylon ropes are acceptable.
    1. Roping saddles are not allowed.
  13. In the case of broken gear:
    1. The clock will keep running.
    1. Only team members may assist.
  14. All calves must be caught with a clean neck catch. Horn catch is acceptable.
  15. The catchers must throw the rope across the centre line of the horse. They may not place the rope onto the calf. Incorrect actions will be deemed a foul catch.
  16. Foul catches must be released clear of the mob or at the panel. The catcher may re-throw.
  17. The calf must come to the panel on its feet. A dragged calf will incur a penalty. Deliberate dragging of a calf will result in immediate disqualification.
  18. Any rough handling of stock will incur a penalty. Deliberate mistreatment of stock will result in immediate disqualification of the team.
  19. The calf may be handled and leg-roped once clear of the mob.
  20. The calf may not be thrown, earmarked or branded until it touches the panel.
  21. The leg ropes must be below the knee or hock. Front leg rope must be wrapped on the bottom or second rail or below the second rail of front post, back leg rope must be wrapped around the post below the second rail. The calf must remain in place, with the beast securely on its side in the branding position, until the calf is branded or marked. Incorrect actions will incur a penalty.
  22. The judge will clarify the rail used before the competition begins.
  23. All calves must be leg-roped.
  24. All ropes and competitor equipment must be clear of and behind the panel for the clock to stop.
  25. An incorrect earmark or brand will result in a penalty. The judge will clarify the earmark and brand before the competition begins.
  26. Branding irons must be returned to their base before the clock is stopped.
  27. The first calf must be marked within three minutes. Five calves must be completed within 8 minutes. Time may be altered by the committee organising the event and will be clarified by the judge before the beginning of each round.
  28. If a beast is injured, the clock will stop. The judge will restart the clock once the injured beast is removed.
  29. If a calf goes through the panel, it has to be brought back to the correct side of the panel before continuing.
  30. In the event of a draw both teams will catch 3 calves
  31. 10 sec penalty for calf choking down on head rope.
  32. Team members shall remain the same in the 1st round and finals unless approved by the judges on the day.
  33. If a team or teams is/are disqualified, then the top six (6) qualifying times will progress to compete in the finals.

Animal Welfare Code

Click the link below to read the Animal Welfare Code followed at all BBSA Bronco Branding events.
BBSA-Animal-Welfare-Code