In US, Venezuelans Adapt Old Rodeo Tradition
By CHRISTINE ARMARIO
HIALEAH, Fla. (AP) â¿¿ On a sandy stretch of land between tree farms and cattle ranches, Edgar Abreu awaits his match: A black bull behind a red metal gate.
The gate lifts and the bull runs. Abreu, a balding 57-year-old handyman, and another cowboy chase the animal on their horses. Abreu rides up alongside the bull, grips his hand around the tail and yanks the animal to the ground.
The bull rolls over and comes to a rest on its stomach."Un punto!" Francisco Palmero calls out on a bullhorn. One point. The crowd cheers. The scene is reminiscent of rodeos in countless Venezuelan towns, as well as some other parts of Latin America. But this tournament is being held at a ranch in Hialeah, about 10 miles from the Miami's towering condo and office buildings. The men on horseback are competing to represent the U.S. in a world championship in Venezuela later this year. For most of the cowboys, the U.S. is a second home. The majority are from Venezuela where "coleo," as the sport is called, is a tradition. When they arrived in Florida, they organized rodeos much like the ones in the countries they left behind: Four men chased after two bulls for four minutes at a time, flipping them over as many times as they could. Musicians played llanera folk songs with harps, maracas, bass and Spanish guitars. Families came with their children. Not everyone applauded, however. At an event about 10 years ago, a bull fell and broke its leg. Animal rights activists clamored. They said the tradition wasn't a sport. It was cruelty. "There was quite a public uproar about it," recalled Laura Bevan, Southern region director of the Humane Society of the United States. "And the people organizing it just said that they were not going to do it anymore."
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV