Charreria competitions are held in Guadalajara every Sunday in different locations, competitions lasts approximately two hours. During the Mariachi Festival, the Mexican National Charro Championship will be held September the first weekend in September.
A charreada is held within a marked-off area of an arena consisting of a lane 12 meters (13 yards) wide by 60 meters (66 yards) long leading into a circle 40 meters (44 yards) in diameter.
The participants must wear traditional charroclothing while performing.
Preceding the events is an opening ceremony in which the organizations and participants parade into the arena on horseback, usually accompanied by a mariachi band playing.
The charreada itself consists of a number of scoring events staged in a particular order—nine for the men and one for the women. Two or more teams, called asociaciones, compete against each other. Teams can compete to become state, regional, and national champions. The competitors are judged by both style and execution. Unlike rodeos, most charreadas do not award money to the winners.This is due to the fact that charreadas are considered an amateur sport, not professional. Under Mexican laws it would be illegal to receive a monetary reward for participating in a charreada. At times there are such prizes as saddles or horse trailers.
Men's events Cala de Caballo(Test of the horse); The charro puts his horse though various commands to demonstrate his ability and the horse's training. Controlled slide, left and right half, full, and triple turns, dismount and mount, and reverse walk are performed.
Piales en Lienzo (Roping of the feet); a horseman must throw a lariat, let a wild mare run through the loop catching it by the hind legs. Three opportunities are given. Points are awarded for distance needed to stop the mare. This is done in the rectangular portion of the arena; Colas en el Lienzo, or Coleadero (Arena bull tailing) similar to bull dogging except that the rider does not dismount; the charro rides alongside the left side of the bull, wraps its tail around his right leg, and tries to cause the bull fall and roll as he rides past it. Points are given for technique, time, and roll of the bull.
Jineto de Toro similar to the rodeo event. Bulls are smaller, between 990 and 1320 pounds, and are ridden until they stop bucking. Two hands can be used on the bullrope. Points are given for technique. The charro cannot fall off, he must dismount and land upright. After the charro dismounts the bull he must remove the bullrope and bellrope so the Terna en el Ruedo can follow.
Terna en el Ruedo (Team of three); a team roping event in which three charros attempt to rope a bull - one by its neck, one by its hind legs, and the last then ties its feet together. They have a maximum of 10 minutes. Points are awarded for rope tricks and time.
Jineteo de Yegua (Bareback on a wild mare); similar to bareback broncriding. Yegua means mare. A wild mare is riden with a bullrope. Two hands are used and the legs are held horizontally to the ground.
Manganas a Pie(Roping on foot) a charro on foot (pie) has three opportunities to rope a wild mare by its front legs and cause it to fall and roll once. The wild mare is chased around the ring by three mounted charros. Points are awarded for time and rope tricks as long as the horse is roped and brought down. Extra points are given for the tirón del ahorcado (hanged pull) in which the rope is around the charro's neck and he uses his body to cause the mare to fall and roll. Points for all three attempts are cumulative. Eight minutes are given.
Manganas a Caballo
or (Roping from horseback); a charro on horseback has three opportunities to rope a wild mare by its front legs and cause it to fall and roll once. The wild mare is chased around the ring by three mounted charros. Points are awarded for time and rope tricks as long as the horse is roped and brought down. Points for all three attempts are cumulative. Eight minutes are given.
El Paso de la Muerte(The pass of death) a charro riding bareback, with reins, attempts to leap from his own horse to the bare back of a wild horse without reins and ride it until it stops bucking. The most dangerous part of this is if the charro performing the pass falls under three other mounted charros that are chasing the wild mare around the arena ring. This is done backwards at times for show.
Escaramuza (Skirmish): Since the 1950's, this breath-taking event adds beauty and elegance to the Charreada. During this event a team of 8-12 women riding sidesaddle and dressed in colorful Adelita dresses perform a variety of precision riding techniques. Years of training by the rulebook make this event art, sport, and an extension of the culture that is Charreria. It is usually held between the Coleadero and the Jineteo de Toro.