Main Project Final Report Part 1: Dummy Roping Calf

My project was a dummy roping calf made out of PVC pipe. Dummy calves are used to practice roping skills, and are used by beginners and professionals.


In the rodeo, my favorite event is calf wrestling. Being able to successfully rope a calf is a very impressive skill. I recently became a casual roper just for fun, but I didn’t have anything good to practice on. I decided that having a dummy in my backyard with a cool aesthetic would be fun and a good way to practice my skills.


I didn’t know much about roping calves, so I had to look at some on the internet. I learned that they were ridiculously expensive, and I knew I could make one for cheaper. I saw some for sale that were made of PVC, but most were just standard and basic in terms of aesthetic appeal. I decided that I would use PVC pipe, and splatter it with paint to add some flair to it.

Materials purchased

For this project, I already had my rope, but I needed everything else. I bought the head for the dummy from a saddlery shop online. At Home Depot, I bought 20 feet of PVC pipe, about 15 couplers, and two cans of spray paint: one black and one gold. I also bought wheels to mount it on.


The actual construction of the piece went pretty smoothly. I measured out the right lengths of PVC pipe, cut it, and assembled it all together in the shape I wanted using the couplers. I attached the head using a drill, and made sure everything fit tightly. I decided to paint the whole thing black, and then use the gold paint to create splatter marks randomly all over it. This fulfilled my goal aesthetic of refined, but still unfinished and not perfect.


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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Emma Hammerton
    May 10, 2017 9:57 pm

    This is a really interesting project. I like how you took a casual rodeo practice material into a functional piece of art. It’s clear that you drew your inspiration from roping cattle and I admire your want to create something that you can use to better your own abilities. I’m curious as to if you chose black and gold because of CU’s colors? Does that possibly embody the aesthetic of your project — pride in schoolwork? It turned out really nice and I’m sure you’ll get plenty of use out of it. Nice structure on your report as well.


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