The history of our national sport goes back to the same cavalry officer and Governor, Mr. García Hurtado de Mendoza, a highly trained soldier in training and skill games.
On the 24th and 25th of July, the Apostle Santiago was meeting the cattle scattered across the fields in the place that is today the Plaza de Armas de Santiago. In those encounters a certain competition between the horsemen could be established for demonstrating their skills and capacity of their mounts. The aim of these rodeos was to meet the tasks of raising livestock as they are among others, apart, brand, castrato, etc.
Subsequently and in compliance with an ordinance of the Cabildo, that rodeo became mandatory. Although the scenario was the same, the date was set for October 7, San Marcos Day. Later on, it was demanded that the work of transfer to the different pens be made by riders on extraordinarily trained horses.
It was at the end of the 17th century that the rodeo began to be regulated. The track that separated the cattle took the rectangular shape and had a length of 75 meters. The riders removed the cattle from the corrals and in the central court they had to demonstrate all their abilities to separate it and drive theirs without the help of other riders. All this action was regulated and the most skilled riders were the object of great honors.
The crescent is imposed in definitive form in the year 1860. The corral changed its rectangular shape giving way to the circumference that we know today, which inside has a huddle where 30 heads of cattle were locked and from which each pair had to Remove the animal from its marks without more help than its ability. With time the quinchas arose where the shot had to be made and along with it the scores praising the work with good and bad points.
In 1927, during the government of Mr. Carlos Ibáñez Del Campo, the law that governs the ‚corridas en vaca’ was passed, leaving the Chilean Rodeo under the tutelage of the Department of Horse Development and Army Remonta, an institution that made it mandatory that At each rodeo there will be two exclusive series for Chilean fine blood reproducers, quality that was determined through the registration of them in the genealogical records, by the National Society of Agriculture.
The rodeo was legitimized as a national sport on January 10, 1962, by official letter Nº269 of the National Sports Council and the Olympic Committee of Chile.
For 15 years the Association of Horse Breeders led the rodeo giving organization throughout the country, promoting the breeding and promoting exhibitions. Men like Mr. Alberto Echenique, Guillermo Aguirre Ureta, Juan Luis Urrutia Prieto and Fernando Hurtado Echenique, were the presidents who had the responsibility of cementing what is today the most traditional sport in the country, governed since May 22, 1961, by the Chilean Rodeo Federation.
THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF RODEO AND CLUBS DE HUASOS DE CHILE IS BORN
It was the year 1985 when some huasos corraleros of the fifth region began to think about forming a grouping to regulate the unofficial rodeos, where many lovers of this sport participated. This is how in 1992 the first national rodeo championship took place, under the tutelage of the Federation of Labor Rodeo.
This Federation was gradually growing up to what is now the National Federation of Rodeo and Clubs of Huasos of Chile, with its own legal personality and recognized by Chiledeportes, as National Sports Federation.
There are more than 7,500 members participating in more than 300 official rodeos organized per year, with clubs ranging from Arica to the Eighth Region, all grouped into 31 Associations.
Currently the National Federation of Rodeo and Clubs of Huasos of Chile has an adequate infrastructure, own offices and an official regulation of cow run and movement to the rein that regulates all the skills and activities of its members. Annually nine qualifying roundups are held nationwide that give the option to participate in the National Grand Rodeo Final.
HOW THIS SPORT IS PRACTICED
This competition consists in that 2 riders mounted on their respective horses, also complying with all their dress and regulation tools, chase a bovine animal, giving it 2 rounds in a smaller pen called hive, they must go out to the crescent court, having to stop it in a certain area, called „Catch”. This work is repeated 3 times in the respective race. Depending on the place of the animal in which it was cut, it is the score assigned by an official jury. For a catch to be regulation there is an area before the 10-meter long tackle, in it the horse that corresponds to tackle must enter the animal and with at least one chest touching the animal. In the event that the animal is not caught and goes to the hut, it has a negative score.
What has been described above summarizes in general terms what this discipline consists of, however, the median of the rodeo, not only encloses riders, horses and young bulls, but also a whole Chilean folk tradition, in which customs, values, trades, costumes and objects are enclosed they are an expression of our rural and popular culture, which constitute a valuable living heritage, where two riders mounted on horses of pure Chilean race must herd and cut a bull on three consecutive occasions, on two quilted quilts.