Continuing on with "Spanish Week", I wanted to introduce you to the Spanish Charro Escaromuza Sidesaddle Riders. They are amazing - to say the least!!!
If you have never seen this video, it is worth the watch!
it's a team sport for women and a peculiar hybrid of Mexican and North American equestrian arts. Spectators have described it as something akin to a ballet on horseback. For me it is among the most dazzling and thrilling of horsemanship displays, almost on a par with Vienna's fabulous Lipizanners and the Spanish bull-fighting art known as Rejoneo.
Escaramuza is a relatively new form of competition that is woven into La Charrería, Mexico's national sport. La Charreada is a south-of-the-border style rodeo that involves not only cowpoking skills, but also culture, folklore, traditional handicrafts and family values derived from the ranching lifestyle of yesteryear.
Then back in the 1950's one of Mexico's most distinguished charros caught a mounted drill team act during a visit to the USA. He introduced the concept as a horseback riding activity for the young children of charro families under the label "carousel." It caught on big with girls, who wasted no time in taking over the form while their brothers were focused on mastering the usual charreada skills. As early enthusiasts became more proficient at riding, they began beefing up the speed and intricacy of their drill routines, giving rise to a new and more descriptive label for the art-- escaramuza--the Spanish word for skirmish. The sport was soon formalized and has since gained increasing popularity among amazonas (female riders) all over Mexico and even in Latino communities beyond its borders.
While escaramuza performances may tagged on as an added attraction to any charreada or scheduled in ferias amistosas (friendly fairs), formal competitions on the state, regional and national level are programmed and sanctioned by the Mexican Charro Federation. Official contests require strict adherence to complex rules and regulations that govern every aspect of the event, from a code for acceptable dress and tack to exact judging and scoring procedures.
Each escaramuza team is composed of eight riders who wear matching outfits, with the option of donning either the traditional full-skirted Adelita style dresses or fitted skirt and jacket ensembles similar to standard charro attire. Likewise, their wide-brimmed sombreros, the customary charro head gear, must be identical in color, style and decorative detail.