From January 31 through February 5 Arena Vallarta will host the eleventh edition of the Hacienda Serena 2023 International Charro Championship. This year more than 40 teams will compete, of which 16 come from the United States. There will also be 24 skirmish teams, 12 of them from the US, and more than 1.8 pesos in prizes to be distributed.
The centuries-old tradition of Charrería brings together working skills, training and discipline, horsemanship, music and dance, and symbolic reenactment of Mexican values and customs. Like its rodeo cousin in the U.S., Charrería turns cattle farming skills into competitive stunts. Contending teams show off techniques of jumping through the air onto wild mares, riding bucking broncos, and bringing down rampaging bulls with lassos.
At a press conference, Alfonso Bernal Romero, organizer of the event, announced the details of this championship, which returns to Arena Vallarta with a record number of registered teams.
Each Charro team, made up of all men dressed in traditional clothing, compete in 9 different challenges to demonstrate their skills at horse training and commands, roping of horses and livestock, bulldogging, bull riding, forefooting, speed challenges and bareback bronc riding.
This year’s tournament will once again feature teams made up of 8 to 12 women dressed in ornate Adelita or Ranchera dresses, who will compete in the Escaramuza (skirmishes), which entails performing a variety of precision horseback riding techniques while riding sidesaddle.
The festivities kick off on Tuesday, January 31 with the traditional Verbena de Tradiciones Mexicanas (Traditional Mexican Street Party) at Los Arcos de Malecón in downtown Puerto Vallarta, featuring live music, a Xiutla Folkloric Ballet performance, Rope Flourishing demonstrations, and lots of family fun.
Throughout the 5-day tournament, attendees will also enjoy live music and dance performances, children’s areas, traditional food, charro accessories and souvenir stands, and more.
Ticket prices will be 100 pesos for Wednesday, February 1 and Thursday, February 2; 200 pesos on Friday the 3rd and Saturday the 4th; and 300 pesos on Sunday the 5th of February, final day.
As a thank you to attendees, tickets to all competitions automatically enter you in a raffle for a late model car to be given away on Sunday, February 5th. (You must be present – with ticket in hand – to claim your prize.)