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Trick Riding Pictures

Below are trick riding pictures with trick riders performing the Apache Hideaway, the Cossack Drag, and Roman Riding. In the United States, trick riding first rose to prominence as a competitive event in the early days of rodeo. Today it is a favorite specialty act seen at rodeos, fairs, or other venues. For more information on trick riding, please see the descriptions with each picture and the brief article at the bottom of this page.

The trick riding shown below was performed by members of Gratny Family Rodeo Acts.

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In this photo the Apache Hideaway is being demonstrated at a standstill. In the next photo you can see it a full gallop.

Trick riding demonstrated at a standstill


The Apache Hideaway. This trick originates from Native Americans who would hide on the side of their running horse to avoid being wounded in battle.

Apache Hideaway in trick riding


This trick is called the Cossack Drag. It is sometimes also called the Russian Drag or the Death Drag. It is named for the Russian Cossacks who were said to have hung upside down from their horses going into battle.

Trick riding: The Cossack Drag


Roman Riding. Roman Riding traces its roots back to competitions held in Ancient Rome.

Roman Riding performed by a trick rider

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Women In Trick Riding

In the United States trick riding first rose to prominence as a competitive event in the early days of "cowboy extravaganzas," or wild west shows, both of which were precursors to the sport we now call rodeo. By the 1920s many rodeos featured three competitive events reserved just for cowgirls: bronc riding, the relay race (if the hosting facility had a race track), and trick riding.

In trick riding, the ladies made up their own tricks to compete with and were judged on such things as ease, gracefulness, skill, and how many straps were used for hand and foot holds - the fewer the straps the higher the score.

As trick riding became more competitive, cowgirls performed increasingly dangerous tricks on their fast-running horses, including stands, drags, vaults, and passes underneath their horse's belly. In the mid 1930’s trick riding was dropped as a contested event due in large part to the increasing number of serious injuries suffered by highly competitive dare-devil cowgirls.

However, trick riding can still be seen throughout the United States as a highly popular specialty act, and is frequently performed by both men and women.


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