El Rosario Charreada Team Captain Samantha Lopez, right, with fellow equestrians in San Antonio, Texas. Photo © Nancy D. Brown
Charreada Charras dress in traditional clothing and compete in the Escaramuza, riding horseback side saddle. Samantha Lopez, 13, of Austin, Texas, is the Team Captain. Riding her Quarter Horse, Cielo, she leads an eight member Escaramuza team, El Rosario.
“My mom introduced me to this sport” said Lopez, Team Captain of El Rosario, “The most difficult challenge is balancing on horseback while riding side saddle,” added Lopez.
The Austin, Texas-based team has only been practicing two years together, yet they placed second recently in the 2012 pre-state finals. There are 19 teams in the Texas Escaramuza competition. Each team of eight girls and eight horses must complete 12 exercises during the 8-10 minute routine.