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Real Cuban Rodeo is a Horror. Don’t Take Part!

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Irina Echarry

HAVANA TIMES — This mare is the apple of my eye, I look after her as if she were me myself. This is how Miguel speaks about cuquita, the mare who his daughter takes to competitions. For several years now, Miguel’s daughter is a cowgirl and she takes part in the Rodeo with cuquita, an event which some people define as an extreme sport while others call it tradition.

Those who know tell us that the first agriculture and livestock fair in Cuba took place in 1814, at the Finca de los Molinos. The first Rodeo, including coleo (dropping cattle to the ground by pulling at their tails), took place in the 1920s. The Rodeo was well received from the beginning, especially by people who have something to do with livestock, as it involved activities that people practiced in their everyday lives: tying up a young bull, climbing onto an untamed bull to break him in, riding horses. etc.

It isn’t hard for us to imagine Miguel washing his young mare, brushing her hair and patting her; a bucolic scene from the Cuban countryside. However, in reality things aren’t this poetic. Even though Miguel and cuquita probably do these things, that doesn’t mean that everything is harmony and love. Generally-speaking, human interaction with animals passes via authoritarianism and showing them our power. Oh! Humans, we who have been chosen to dominate them. This happens at the Rodeos........

© Havana Times