Charros are skilled horseman who preserve ancient horsemanship traditions. Charrerias (a specialized form of rodeo) are hugely popular athletic events in Mexico and in the Western United States. You must be a Charro to compete in a Charreria. Participants are well-known, respected athletes who enjoy fame similar to American professional football and basketball players with one big difference. Charros are not paid. They compete in teams for the tradition and honor of the sport. Unlike rodeo, events are not timed, but judged and scored based on the finesse and grace of the team.
The London Daily Mail covered our Charreria event recently and share some great photos from our event from Antonio Gomez.
Our Sandy Valley Ranch Charro team has won many charreadas with exceptional performances such as the one in this video. This “Suerte” (Event) is called the Pass of Death, or Paso de la Muerte. You can see why it’s called that! Our Charro, Ismael Calderon, is the State Champion.
The charreada or charrería is a competitive event similar to rodeo and was developed from animal husbandry practices used on the haciendas of old Mexico. The sport has been described as “living history,” or as an art form drawn from the demands of working life. Evolving from the traditions brought from Spain in the 16th century, the first charreadas were ranch work competitions between haciendas.
The modern Charreada developed after the Mexican Revolution when charro traditions were disappearing. The competing charros often came from families with a tradition of Charreria, and teams today are often made up from extended families who have been performing for up to five generations. The charreada consists of nine events for men plus one for women, all of which involve horses, cattle or both. Those events are:
Cala de Caballo (Reining)
Piales en Lienzo (Heeling)
Colas en el Lienzo or Coleadero (Steer Tailing)
Jineteo de Toro (Bull riding)
Terna en el Ruedo (Team Roping)
Jineteo de Yegua (Bareback on a wild mare)
Manganas a Pie (Forefooting)
Manganas a Caballo or (Forefooting on Horseback)
El Paso de la Muerte (The pass of death)
Escaramuza (a precision display of equestrian skill for women)