Escaramuza encore to aid equine therapy program

Fearless female equestrians will make an encore appearance at Ajijic’s Lienzo Charro bullring, Saturday, May 11 for the Feria de Escaramuza team riding tournament. The competition starts at noon, complemented by a Mexican-style food fair set up on the grounds.

For those unfamiliar with the sport, escaramuza tournaments involve drill teams made up of eight riders who mount sidesaddle while performing dramatic high-speed routines set to a backdrop of traditional Mexican music. Each team appears in distinctive coordinated outfits, opting for either the full-skirted Revolution era Adelita style costume or the lady’s version of the tailored charro suit.

Competition routines consist of a dozen individual exercises choreographed into mesmerizing equestrian ballet that must be executed at a steady gallop. The teams are scored on symmetry and synchronization in the movements, striving for precision to avoid accidents and minimize point deductions for errors that may be imperceptible to untrained spectators, though easily spotted by keen-eyed judges seated in the stands. 

The event is being organized by DIF Chapala as a fund-raiser for the budding Pepe Martinez Centro de Equinoterapia. The center opened in mid-February to offer equine therapy sessions for children and adults challenged by physical, mental and emotional disabilities.

The charro arena is located on Calle Revolucion (Wednesday tianguis street), a block and a half south of Salvador’s Restaurant. Admission is set at 30 pesos per person, payable at the gate. Advance tickets are available at DIF headquarters in Chapala, Degollado 327, and the Delegacion offices in Ajijic and other outlying towns.