Rodeo in Chile

The real deal.  Photo: Chris Price
The real deal. Photo: Chris Price

When you’re fishing your way through Southern Chile on a trip with Chile West, if you’re lucky enough to be in the right place and the right time, you may be able to experience a local rodeo.

You’ll find it a bit different than a rodeo in the states. In Chile the rodeo is a grand social event where the local people from the area towns get together for good fun, good food and good times.

The main event is a competition between teams of two “Huasos”, the Chilean term for cowboys. The two Huasos, atop their horses, drive a cow around the arena, one alongside the cow and the other behind driving the cow. The idea is to control the animal, driving the cow until a certain mark on the arena wall and then turn it. At this point the two Huasos change positions and drive the animal in the other direction. This is a true display of team work and horsemanship.

Another event is the “Carrete” which is a horse race between two Huasos. It is a straight sprint of around a hundred yards.

Chilean Rodeo is a really interesting combination of family and friends, young and old, participating in old tradition.  We think that if you’re making a trip to Chile you really need to check this kind of stuff out!

More on Culture in Chile


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