The steer roper is behind a taut rope fastened with an easily-broken string which is fastened to the rope on the steer. When the roper is ready he calls for the steer and the chute man trips a lever opening the doors. The suddenly-freed steer breaks out running. When the steer reaches the end of his rope, the string breaks simultaneously releasing the barrier for the roper (Should the roper break the barrier, a 10-second penalty is added to his time). The roper must throw his rope in a loop around the steer's horns.
Once the rope is around the steer's horns, the roper throws the slack of the rope over the steer's hip and then turns his horse to the left, when the rope comes tight it lefts the hip up and pulls the steers head around or tripping the steer.
The roper will jump off the horse while the horse continues pulling the steer along the ground. The horse stops and the roper ties three of the steer's legs together with a pigging string using a half-hitch knot, colloquially called two wraps and a hooey. The roper returns to his horse, mounts, and moves the horse forward, releasing the tension on the rope. An official will now time six seconds. If the steer is still tied at the end of the six seconds, an official time for the event is taken. The official time starts when the gate opens and ends when the roper finishes tying the steer.
Top professional steer ropers will tie a steer in 10-15 seconds.