Unidos por la charrería
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Mexico’s national sport of charrería is practiced year-round by Mexican-American communities across Texas. Roughly 50 teams play across the state for a chance to compete with other U.S. and Mexican teams in annual tournaments. The sport is a multi-staged competition in which teams of men and women are awarded points for the careful execution of 10 events. These test horsemanship, lasso control, and bull and mare riding. In both nations, riders must use sanctioned garb and horse tack. But riders in the U.S. carry more than just the technical knowledge of the sport. For central Texas teams outside of Austin, their participation in this culturally significant sport brings together their community. It connects riders with their heritage and identity. In this report, I profile two teams: the men’s team of El Herradero and the women’s team of El Rosario. Both train and compete at Rancho Tres Potrancas outside of Austin, Texas. The ranch is owned by local charrería association president and El Herradero captain, Roberto Chavira. I discuss the sport and its history in Mexico and the U.S., but also how riders from the two Austin teams find a sense of community and unity through charrería.