Sunday afternoon I was taken to watch a traditional Mexican event called Charreada, amazing costumes and spectacular horses….
The traditional Mexican event Charreada is similar to a rodeo and was developed from animal husbandry practices used in Haciendas in old Mexico and has been around since the 16th Century and used as competitions between the Haciendas.
When I arrived at the venue located on the outskirts of Downtown Cancun there were women and young girls dressed in traditional dresses called adelita which are big dresses full of color and many layers and men dressed in their finest cowboy outfits and the band playing loudly, which you could hear above the sounds of the cheering crowds. I was amazed to see all the traditional clothing being worn and so proudly, the Charrro’s (participants in the ring) still wear the Charro clothing, closely fitted suites, chaps, boots and a wide bring sombrero and of course their rope used to tie up the horses.
We grabbed a taco and a drink (choice of tequila or whiskey) and made our way to the grandstand. At first I was shocked at seeing a young horse being chased around the ring by the Charro, but my husband assured me that no harm comes to the horses which I could see. Never less it was something that I had never seen before, seeing the beautifully groomed horses dancing and parading around the ring was something different and spectacular. The skill of the riders and their pure enjoyment for what they do, no doubt they all started at a young age.
There are many events that take place in the ring, not all the events are trying to capture the young wild horse but shows of skill and bareback riding and jumping from one horse to another.
2. Piales en Lienzo (Heeling); a horseman must throw a lariat, let a horse run through the loop, catching it by the hind legs. Three opportunities are given. Points are awarded for distance needed to stop the mare. This is done in the rectangular portion of the arena;
3. Colas en el Lienzo, or Coleadero (Steer Tailing) similar to bull dogging except that the rider does not dismount; the charro rides alongside the left side of the bull, wraps its tail around his right leg, and tries to bring the bull down in a roll as he rides past it. Points are given for technique, time, and roll of the bull.
4. Jineteo de Toro (Bull riding) similar to the rodeo event. Bulls are smaller, between 990 and 1320 pounds, and are ridden until they stop bucking. Two hands can be used on the bullrope. Points are given for technique. The charro cannot fall off, he must dismount and land upright. After the charro dismounts the bull he must remove the bullrope and bellrope so the Terna en el Ruedo can follow. This event has its roots in an earlier form known as Jaripeo.
5. Terna en el Ruedo (Team Roping); a team roping event in which three charros attempt to rope a bull – one by its neck, one by its hind legs, and the last then ties its feet together. They have a maximum of 6 minutes. Points are awarded for rope tricks and time.
6. Jineteo de Yegua (Bareback on a wild mare); similar to Bareback bronc riding. Yegua means mare. An untrained horse, often a mare, is ridden with a bullrope. Two hands are used and the legs are held horizontally to the ground.
7. Manganas a Pie (Forefooting) a charro on foot (pie) has three opportunities to rope a horse by its front legs and cause it to fall and roll once. The horse, usually a mare, is chased around the ring by three mounted charros or hazers. Points are awarded for time and rope tricks as long as the horse is roped and brought down. Extra points are given for the tirón del ahorcado (hanged pull) in which the rope is around the charro’s neck, like a noose, and he uses his body to cause the mare to fall and roll. Points forall three attempts are cumulative. Eight minutes are given.
8. Manganas a Caballo or (Forefooting on Horseback); a charro on horseback has three opportunities to rope a horse by its front legs and cause it to fall and roll once. The horse is chased around the ring by three mounted charros. Points are awarded for time and rope tricks as long as the horse is roped and brought down. Points for all three attempts are cumulative. Eight minutes are given. In the U.S. the horses are not rolled, they are released as soon as they are roped.
9. El Paso de la Muerte (The pass of death) a charro riding bareback, with reins, attempts to leap from his own horse to the bare back of a loose, unbroken horse without reins and ride it until it stops bucking. The most dangerous part of this is if the charro performing the pass falls under three other mounted charros that are chasing the loose horse round the arena ring. This is done backwards at times for show. 10. Escaramuza (English: “skirmish”) is an event added in 1992 for teams of women who perform precision equestrian displays riding sidesaddle and garbed in Adelita dress. It is usually held between the Coleadero and the Jineteo de Toro.
Information has been taken from Wikipedia
We already have plans to go again this Saturday to see the full event of dancing and festivities, I have been told too that it is the perfect place to get amazing leather boots from about $400 pesos… so this Aussie will be turning herself into a Australian Mexican Cowgirl, and thankfully I like whiskey…