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Rodeo: The Ride of The Vaqueros

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Despite the inclement weather and subsequent soggy boots and jeans, Fiesta Charra was yet another great reason to head on down to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo yesterday.  The exhibition, now a staple at Go Tejano Day, showcases charro traditions common to the early, working ranch.

For the last 15 years, the vaqueros have amused audiences with their old-world customs and dancing horses. They sport the traditional vaquero garb and grandioso onlookers have come to know and love.  

The show also includes side-saddled senoritas and young, lasso-wrangling cowboys, who seem to excite the crowd almost as much as the horses' fancy footwork.

The fleet can sway back-and-forth and side-to-side like nobody's business. One horse even spun around so many times I was dizzy.  

Emcee David Gonzales told Hair Balls it takes a lot of time and savvy to teach the horses how to move like that and for the young cowboys to rope like that.  

The Jiminez boys and their father call themselves Espuela de Plata, or Silver Spur. They like to show off their cowboy expertise by incessantly spinning the ropes around themselves and their horses with little effort and a lot of ease.  

The young ladies on horseback maneuver much the same. Their fluffy circle skirts blow in the wind, but the girls remain upright and unyielding as they parade their horses full-speed across the field.  

"This is something handed down from generation to generation," he said. "All of the girls are related. They're sisters, cousins and sister-in-laws."

Definitely a family affair everyone can enjoy.

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