Also known as charreria, the charreada is a competitive event that has some similarities with the rodeo, and was originally developed from animal husbandry practices in old Mexico. Having been described as living history, this is a sport that tells the story of life in Mexico back in the day, but has also received backlash from animal activism groups due to the lack of animal welfare involved in the sport. For those who are planning on attending a charreada, here are some of the events that you can expect to see.
Cala de Caballo
Known in English as Reining, Cala de Caballo is famous for being one for being one of the most difficult of charreada events, and takes a significant amount of skill to master. This event requires the hose to showcase its talents, doing everything from canters and trots to slides and stops, and even spinning on its hind legs. The scoring system for the Cala de Caballo is also incredibly complex, and it is even possible to earn more negative points than positive ones.
Jineteo de Toro
Jineteo de Toro is an event that you will likely recognize as Bull Riding, and is very similar to rodeo events. However, the bulls used here are smaller, and are ridden until they stop bucking. The rider must not fall off the bull, but dismount and land upright, before removing the bellrope and bullrope.
Jineteo de Yegua
Jineteo de Yegua is another action-packed event, and is translated into English as riding bareback on a wild mare. This means that the horse is untrained, and the rider much use a bullrope to gain control over the horse.
Manganas a Caballo
Manganas a Caballo is an event that horse-lovers will not want to watch. This one features a charro on horseback, who has three chances to rope a horse’s front legs. In the USA, once horses are roped, they are immediately freed, but in other parts of the world where the charreada is held, the goal of the event is to make the horse fall and roll once.
El Paso de la Muerte
El Paso de la Muerte means the Pass of Death, and it is definitely one of the most dangerous of charreada events. This one features a charro riding bareback, before attempting to leap from his horse onto the bare back on an unbroken, untrained horse, without any reins. Once he has done so, he must keep riding the horse until it stops bucking.
Colas en el Lienzo
Known as Steer Tailing, this event consists of a rider riding along the left side of a bull, using his right leg to bring the bull down into a roll. This event is scored based on technique and time, as well as the way in which the bull rolls.
While the charreada may be a popular competitive sport in many places, the concerns being raised by animal welfare groups for their inhumane treatment of animals is only growing. Although the charreada may be compared largely to the rodeo, the severe injuries that the animals leave a charreada with show that the two are actually quite different.