Charro and Rodeo Competition Descriptions

The Charreada Rodeo is about to begin!

 

The livestock has been exercised and familiarized with the grounds, the  chutes and corrals. The arena and terrain have been prepared for safe competition.

 

The Charreada is a competition between 3 teams that work together to perform 10 events of accumulated scores.

 

The announcer signals the competitors and the families and fans are ready and excited for the display of skills that awaits them.

 

Finally, the conductor strikes up the band, and the celebration begins!

Event Descriptions

“La Marcha de Zacatecas” video

Every Charreada begins with a formal introduction parade. The Charro teams are introduced with their respective “Reina” (team queen) to the beat of “La Marcha de Zacatecas”  (2nd national hymn of Mexico in this case played by the United States Navy Band) while proudly flying the Mexican and American flags. This is followed by the recital of the “Charros prayer”.The competition of nine events begins with:

Cala de caballo, Reining   video #1

A strikingly elegant reining and training demonstration where the Charro demonstrates the skills and obedience of his horse. The running slide, left and right spinning, rear leg pivoting, and backing abilities are tested. The Charro and horse are evaluated carefully. Horses are judged for vigor, manageability, docility, gait and obedience. Carriage of head and tail are all critically evaluated and scored accordingly. The Charro is careful to guide his horse without causing swishing of the tail or head tossing and other undesirable actions that lead to a loss of points.

 

 

Piales:, Video Video 2, Video 3,

Horse heel catches from horseback. A mounted charro ropes a running horse exclusively by the hind legs, the rider skillfully dallies his rope (made entirely of a natural agave cactus fiber), around the wooden saddle horn, gradually “milking” or playing out the rope and reduces the speed of the animal until bringing it to a complete stop. This technique minimized injuries to valued livestock and also prevented the loss of the valued ropes. Piales greatly assisted in catching a strong horse that would likely snap a rope or hurt itself while flailing away from initially being roped by the neck alone. It was devastating to lose a rope on the open range. That is why a Charro is disqualified and 6 points are taken away from a rider who loses his rope in this event where he also only has approximately 60 meters to accomplish this event. Care must be taken to avoid jerking or abruptly stopping the horses which could also result in snapping the low tensile strength ropes and loss of points.

 

 

 Colas:< video wayward steer

 

Steer tailing is one of the oldest events of the charreada. The sometimes lone Charro or Mexican Horsemen developed this event from the most practical way of abruptly changing the direction of a straying or wayward steer on the range. In the open range, the lone horsemen would struggle to keep herds of cattle together towards their destination. Roping individual strays was not practical because the ropes they use are made of natural agave fiber with low tensile strength. The ropes would snap in half leaving the horseman without a rope for other purposes. It was also very difficult for a single rider to remove the rope from the horns or neck and still be able to control the herd while the uncooperative steer flailed about. The rider learned to chase the wayward steer, grasp its tail and wrap it around his leg at the ankle. The steer could be held in place by this method. Unfortunately, most steer would kick the Charros horse. He than learned to urge his mount forward and out, bringing the steer to the ground. The steers would get up and instinctively run back to the herd. It was a perfect fix for a disruptive or wayward steer. This is a very common ranch and competition practice still today. Steers that are used in Charreadas become very familiar with herding, corral and chute work and become easy to handle.

The event is very similar and achieves the same result as in steer wrestling which was invented in the 1930\’s by the legendary Black cowboy, Bill Pickett, when his rope broke during a rodeo event.

The practice was also used to subdue the steer when Charros would brand, trim, vaccinate and even place riding gear on the steer and ride the bull without the use of bucking chutes.

During competition, the Charro must “salute” and acknowledge judges at the precise moment the steer is released from the Chute. He than must salute the steer by a firm pat on the hind quarters, allowing the steer a headstart before the ten meter mark., only than can he reach for the tail and attempt to bring the steer down. All of this this must be accomplished within 60 meters. The points are granted according to style, distance and grace of execution of event. Horses used and Charros that practice this event spend countless hours of training and spend thousands of dollars to learn to execute these feats in a controlled and professional manner. Steers have to meet strict health and weight limits to be used in all events. All livestock is trained, familiarized and conditioned before competition begins. Arena grounds are softened and conditioned to official competition conditions as well.

 

 

mexican-rodeo-bull

Jineteo de toro, Bull riding: Video 1Video 2

The charro demonstrates his strength and riding skills by staying on the bull until it stops bucking. There is no eight-second ride rule in this event. Extra points are given if the rider can dismount with flank strap and rigging in his hand. Mexican and American rodeo prohibit the use of Sharpened spurs or abusive riding equipment. Extra points are given to the rider if he can dismount with flank strap and rigging in his hand.

 

 

Terna en el Ruedo: Video

“Terna” is similar to “Team roping”. The emphasis is to accumulate points by intricate rope maneuvers which are judged by difficulty, precision, distance and time. 3 Charros get 3 attempts to rope. Very simple and quick techniques can be used as well, but points are accordingly minimal. Many of these “Trios” consist of Father, Son, and Grandson. This and female Escaramuza event are the only official event I know of with this unique distinction. That my friends, has brought tears to my eyes on many occasions.

 

 

Jineteo de yegua Video 1,  Bareback bronc riding:

The charro must stay on the bronc, until it stops bucking. There is no eight-second ride rule in this event. Extra points are given to the rider if he can dismount with flank strap and rigging in his hand. Mexican and American rodeo prohibit the use of Sharpened spurs or abusive riding equipment. Extra points are given to the rider if he can dismount with flank strap and rigging in his hand.

 

 

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Manganas a pie, VIDEO, Horse catching on foot:

 

The charro positions himself in the arena, an untamed horse is guided to a run by three mounted teammates. The Charro artistically twirls his reata accumulating points in a display of skilled trick roping maneuvers and timing. He than throws the loop and attempts to catch the horse’s forelegs. Tripping of horses has been voluntarily banned by the offical Charro organizations since 1995. Any Charro that pulls the rope in an attempt to trip or fell the horse is expelled for one year and fined $350 dollars. He is punished by this organization in every one of the United States. The individual is also subject to Sate Laws and regulations where the practice is illegal.

 

 

 Manganas a caballo VIDEO Horse catching on horseback

Foreleg horse catching from horseback, follow the same sequence as Manganas a pie, except that they are executed from horseback. It takes years of practice before a Charro can accomplish this event with awe-inspiring roping skills. Tripping of horses has been voluntarily banned by the offical Charro organizations since 1995. Any Charro that pulls the rope in an attempt to trip or fell the horse is expelled for one year and fined $350 dollars. He is punished by this organization in every one of the United States. The individual is also subject to some Sate Laws and regulations where the practice is illegal.

 

 

paso.jpeg

Paso de la Muerte, Video 1Video 2Video 3

The ninth and final event is considered by many to be the most daring and splendorous of events. The charro jumps from the bare back of his own riding horse onto the back of a running bronc. There is no rigging or gear, just the mane to hold onto. He has to stay on until the bronc stops bucking.

He must dismount gracefully and without help.

People often ask “ Why in the world would he jump from his perfectly good riding horse, and onto that perfectly wild horse? ” Well my friends, There are some things that only a Charro can and will do.

Tradition, honor and pride are integral elements of the sport of Charreria.

 

 

Escaramuza Spectacular Video

The most beautiful aspect of Charreria! La Fiesta Charra! Composed of eight beauties dressed in intricately custom handmade dress. The Escaramuza charra, or women’s mounted drill team, execute a series of precision maneuvers riding sidesaddle and at various speeds. Theirs is equestrian aesthetics at its best and always a crowd favorite.

Escaramuza riders proudly celebrate their roots and preserve this tradition in honor of the “Adelitas” that served in the military during the Mexican Revolution. The “Adelitas” continue to be a source of pride and honor to our heritage.

 

Please enjoy a few songs that celebrate the tradition and culture of the National

sport of Mexico.” La Charreada,  video 1video 2 “

PHOTOS