Dates back to the Old West more so than any other rodeo event.

Tie down roping’s roots date back to the Old West more so than any other rodeo event. When a calf was sick or injured, it had to be caught and immobilized quickly for treatment. Ranch hands prided themselves on how fast they could rope and tie calves, and they soon began informal contests.

After giving the calf a predesignated head start, the horse and rider give chase. As the cowboy throws his loop, the horse comes to a stop.

After catching the calf, the cowboy dismounts, runs to the calf, throws it to the ground by hand (called "flanking") and ties any three legs together using a "pigging string" he has carried in his teeth throughout the run. While the contestant is accomplishing all of this, the horse must keep slack out of the rope, but not pull it tight enough to drag the calf.

If the calf is not standing when the rope reaches it, the cowboy must allow the calf to stand and then flank it before making the tie.

When the roper has completed his tie, he throws his hands in the air as a signal to the timers. He then remounts his horse and rides toward the calf, making the rope slack. The calf must remain tied for six seconds after the rope is slack or the cowboy will receive a "no time".