GRANDSTAND / Sony DSC-P1 / ACDSee
Posting this series of Rodeo and Charreada kids got me thinking. Thinking about the various events where these photographs were taken. My first experience of Charreada happened when Thea and I were visiting with friends in San Miguel de Allende, in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, in March, 2001.
A sandwich board, temporarily set up across from the Parroquia caught my eye. There was to be a Charreada on the coming weekend. I had, for years, been photographing rodeo stock, horses and cattle alike, as research for my paintings, and had attended rodeos throughout my life. But I had never been to a Charreada despite extensive travels in Mexico.
I decided to check it out. On Saturday, I caught a bus out to the Lienzo Charro on the edge of town. I bought a ticket, but rather than enter the covered seating area, I made my way around the outside of the arena in search of critters to photograph. This took me past the area where the Charros and Charras were unloading and saddling their mounts, adjusting their gear and costumes, exercising their horses and practicing rope tricks.
A loud cheer arose from inside the arena and these two boys quickly stood up on their saddles to look over the wall and see the action, creating their own “grandstand”.
I fell in love that day, with the action, the color, tradition, culture and people of Charrería. The freedom of movement and access, the warm friendliness and openness of the people, and the amazing displays of horsemanship, combined with the all-ages inclusiveness of this family oriented sport keeps me going back for more.
I have since photographed at Charreadas many times in Mexico City, in Puebla, and at National Championships in Ciudad Juarez, Zacatecas, and Apaseo el Grande.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go pack for the Championships at the end of this month in Puerto Vallarta.