The Basics of Wild Cow Milking in the Rodeo

Students at private boarding schools are familiar with wild cow milking, as well as other rodeo sports. Wild cow milking is true to its name: A team of cowboys rope and try to milk a cow that isn’t used to being milked. In the rodeo, wild cow milking is a timed event. The objective is to capture and milk the cow, faster than other competing teams.

Who Is Part of the Team?

The rules of wild cow milking can vary from rodeo to rodeo, but generally private boarding schools teach that there are between three and four members on a team. One or two of the team members are on horseback and the others are on foot. One particular member of the team is called the mugger and is responsible for holding the animal’s head. Another member of the team is called the milker and is responsible for milking the cow while the mugger holds it.

What Are the Rules of the Event?

Usually two teams compete in the arena at the same time. The cow starts in the chute. Once the event starts, one of the team members on horseback has to rope the cow, remove the rope from his saddle horn and start milking the cow. At that time, the rest of the team members hurry over and perform their allotted responsibilities.

The milker has to get milk into a small soda bottle. Once the bottle has enough milk in it, the milker races on foot to the finish line. At the finish line, a judge pours the milk into another container. If there is no milk in the bottle, the team is disqualified. If the team doesn’t finish within two minutes it is also disqualified. Other than that, the fastest team wins.

Wild cow milking isn’t the most popular event at the rodeo, but that doesn’t meant it isn’t fun to watch, even for audience members who didn’t attend private boarding schools.

Joshua Valdivia is an academic writer for Fusion 360, an SEO and content marketing agency. Information provided by Wasatch Academy. Follow on Twitter.