rodeo, canada, cowboy

History of rodeos in Latin America


Charreada is Mexico’s national sport. Therefore, it is an exhibition and competition of lasso and mount with origins that go back to the life and culture of colonial livestock in Mexico. But over time, it became an event that included games, parades, food and contests involving humans, cattle and horses. After the Mexican Revolution of 1910, many rural Mexicans were displaced and took up residence in cities, where urban joints and others formed associations to establish and refine the charreada.

During the “Chicano Movement” of the 1970s, Mexican Americans revitalized their heritage by establishing the event in the United States. Historically, however, the event has enjoyed greater prestige in Mexico and, due to concerns about animal cruelty, some charreada events have been banned in the USA.

Unlike rodeos, most charreadas do not award money to the winners, since charreadas are considered an amateur sport, but trophies can be distributed. However recently, the charreada was confined to men, but a precision equestrian event for women called escaramuza is now the tenth and last event in a charreada. Unlike the American rodeo, events are not timed, but judged and scored based on delicacy and grace.

American rodeo has been practiced in Mexico since the 1930s. Therefore, the Mexican Rodeo Federation was formed in 1992 as the leading sport organization in the country. For this reason, the National Rodeo Championship, sanctioned by the said organization, was held to crown the national champions in each of the seven standard events of the American Rodeo. However, this annual event is held in Chihuahua.

Colombia And Venezuela

Coleo is a traditional Venezuelan and Colombian sport, similar to the American rodeo, where a small group of llaneros (cowboys) on horseback chases cattle at high speed along a narrow path (called manga de coleo) to bring it down or topple it.

Coleos are usually presented as an attraction for a larger event, such as a religious festival. They are very popular in Venezuela and parts of Colombia, mainly in the plains (llanos). A collection starts with the participants and a calf or bull (this depends on the age and stature of the contestants) locked behind a gate. The gate leads to a narrow dirt path about 100 meters long, with high protection trails, open at the other end. When a judge gives a signal, the calf is released and starts running. A few seconds later, the horsemen are released and run to grab the calf by the tail. The rider who does this first will increase speed, dragging the calf until it finally trips. The goal is to achieve this in the shortest possible time.


Brazilian rodeos can be traced back to the city of Barretos, where the main economic activities involved cattle and the transport of cattle to other places, where one of the ways in which cowboys discovered entertainment was to ride the animals. In 1956, the first Festa do Peão de Boiadeiro was created and, over the years, this rodeo became the largest in Brazil and Latin America. Barretos is the most famous rodeo in Brazil.

However, rodeos are very common in cities in the interior of the state, especially in Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso do Sul and São Paulo. Bull riding is a significant sport in the country. Since 2006, PBR has operated a national circuit in Brazil, and Brazilian pedestrians are an important presence on the main PBR circuit in the United States. PBR also hosts a Brazilian final. In addition to PBR Brasil, there are also several other riding and rodeo organizations in the country. Brazil also has its own riding style, called Cutiano.


In the 20th century, the rodeo’s popularity increased in Argentina. Buenos Aires, Rosario and other big cities received rodeos. In 1909, the Sociedade Esportiva Argentina announced a rodeo competition in which the winners would eventually compete in the United States against pedestrians from other countries.


After football, rodeo is the most popular sport in Chile and became Chile’s national sport on January 10, 1962 by decree No. 269 of the National Sports Council and the Olympic Committee of Chile.

The Chilean rodeo dates back to the 16th century, starting with the collection of lost cattle in the Plaza de Armas de Santiago for marking and selection. The rodeo began to be regulated in the 17th century and talented riders received honors and awards.

At the Chilean rodeo, a team of two mounted men (called cholera) tries to trap a heifer against large cushions that line the arena (medialuna). Points are earned for the proper technique. Chilean horses are employed and riders wear traditional huaso dress as a requirement. The sport became so popular that, in 2004, more spectators participated in rodeo events than professional football games. The Chilean rodeo experienced financial problems, lack of political support and little promotion. Unlike other Chilean sports, the rodeo receives no government revenue because only sports that represent Chile abroad receive funds. The Chilean Rodeo Federation criticized the lack of government funding and pointed out that the rodeo reaches a part of the population that does not have access to other Chilean sports.

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