Tuesday, February 24, 2009

And Finally, The Rodeo

After a long taxi ride we arrived at the old bull ring where the 7th Annual National Charro Championship was being held. This is a five day event with 35 teams from throughout Mexico competing in a variety of categories. And it is five long days, events starting at 11:00 A.M. and lasting until around 10:00 P.M. A lot of bang for your 80 pesos or about five and a half bucks, American.

The Ticket Booth

This isn't exactly like a professional rodeo in the United States or Canada. Most of these guys are regular cowboys who probably only compete in this one event. The top prize in each of the seven categories is, I believe, a saddle. Not the kind of prize money you usually see.

The do have some events that we are used to such as bucking broncos and bull riding, but the horses are smaller and don't buck as much. Same with the bulls.

My trivia for the day. Did you know that one of the most famous bucking bulls ever was Little Yellow Jacket and that Bernie Taupin was a part owner? Little Yellow Jacket retired in 2005. During his career he allowed just 12 of 86 riders to stay on the full eight seconds and was bull of the year in the Professional Bull Riding circuit three years in a row. In a PBR promotion a one million dollar prize was offered if the selected rider could stay on him for the full eight seconds. Chris Shivers lasted 1.8 seconds.

But enough of that, back to the Charro Championships. Sadly I didn't get a lot of action shots. My little point and click is good for bars, but not so great for the long-distance action shots. However, if you are interested in some good pictures I would encourage you to visit this website, just click on the picture:

I did get a few shots though, so you will have to suffer through them.

Some Of The Charros

The Bull Tail Pulling Competition

That tail pulling is quite a tricky manuever. The charro races behind the bull, grabs the tail and as he pulls it he takes one foot out of the stirrup and pushes on the bulls back leg to bring him down.

This is the one where you bring your horse to a full gallup and then when you hit a mark reign him in to see how quickly you can get him to stop.

Acceleration And Braking

This is a real crowd pleaser, the how long can you keep your horse inside the circle competition. It can go on for hours.

The Mounts Tension Mounts

Just kidding, this is part of a roping event and this guy is a spotter or something. I never could figure out exactly how this all works and how you deterimine the winner.

And, of course, there was the live music.

So This Is Where "Doc" Severinsen Ended Up

I decided to test out my cast iron stomach early on. The beer wasn't cold yet so the guy gave me some chunks of ice that he chipped off the blocks that were cooling it down. I survived though.

Beer On The Rocks

There were several of us who went, including my friend "Two Caps" Dennis.

"Two Caps" Dennis

Now why, you might ask, does Dennis have two caps. Well..., it starts with a pretty girl or two.

Two Pretty Girls

My friend Chris was a bit upset with them for blocking his view.

Then add some tequila.

Two Pretty Girls And Tequila

Well, two pretty girls selling tequila and a free cap thrown in with every bottle.

And Then It Starts

I told the Mysterious Chinese Woman that she could have the cap and the tequila if I could have the girl, and she said okay.

The Mysterious Chinese Woman With Her Spoils

But I Did Get The Girl

Actually, this woman was selling some might fine jerky that came with a little package of hotsauce. It was a delicious snack.

Don't Jerk With Me

The jerky was so good that we went looking for more but she was sold out. I will have to see if I can find some in a store somewhere.

I will post more on the Charro Championships a bit later. Now I am off to the beach and then, around noon, a few of my friends from Minnesota are showing up and I need to be on hand to greet them. Who knows what mischief we will be getting into, but I expect we will have fun.