Thursday, January 06, 2011

Holy Cow And Cowboys

The Yucatan State Fair is probably one of the best values for your money around. It is held from early November to early December each year. The entrance fee is a whopping 15 pesos. That would be $1.25 for the peso challenged among us. Of course, if you drive there, you have to pay for parking too. I forget how much but it was not unreasonable.

Once through the turnstiles, you are greeted by this large entrance courtyard.

I am no fool. I knew enough to get a good luck kiss for the day from the Fair's mascots!

Bob and I love the animal barns. Knowing that, we chose our traveling companions well. There is nothing worse than going to an event like this and having your companions whine about the smells or how boring something is. Not so with the four of us that day. Everybody was eager to visit every building and every display. Game on!

Our first stop was the cattle barn. I was, truthfully, expecting to be a little bored. I have travelled extensively throughout Mexico and the only cows I have ever seen are the Brahma type. You know the ones, white with a large hump on their shoulder. They are usually featured in rodeos too.

I have no idea what kind of cows these are. Unlike fairs that I am used to, there were not very many identifying signs telling the breeds of cattle, or even what farm they came from. Still, interesting.

Ok, here we have some that are somewhat familiar. They look like the Brahma variety that I was talking about. Except spotted.

And then there was this guy. Fascinating. Notice that the owners were proud enough of him to actually post a sign. I spent quite a bit of time just looking at him and watching him peacefully eat his hay. I wonder if he is more lively when loose in the field? I noticed that there was no nose ring for controlling him. A beautiful specimen of the bovine breed.

I mean, really. Just look at the size of his head!

For some reason, this gave me a chuckle. I don't know if they were spectators like us, or exhibitors. I love that the lady wore the traditional garment of the Yucatan, the huipil. Some day I should do an article on this piece of clothing. Some of them are very, very ornate and the embroidery of flowers all hand done. I think this one was store bought.

I have always been a sucker for a good Palomino. Maybe hearkening back to my days of watching Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Gaby Hayes chase the bad guys. My first horse was a Palomino. There was an alley of breeds, if you will. I think my reader, Lisa, in New York would have enjoyed this area. Fine specimens of horseflesh.

A leopard Appaloosa. I was surprised to see this breed in Mexico.

There was a black one and a brown one.

A Pinto.

Next it was on to the horse arena. I am always somewhat reluctant to view the horse shows. Most of what they do to the horses I find cruel. Like lassoing a poor horse, which is running around the ring frightened and at full run, by the back legs, jerking it to the ground. Foolish.
But not when we there. There was this curious formation of riders at the end of the ring.

Some were paying attention. Some were not. A lot of them were either talking to each other or on cell phones!

A few even chose this opportunity to quench their thirst! With a beer, of course!

The pommels on these saddles are huge, round things. Big enough to offer a seat to the junior set!

And here's what they were waiting for. The cutting horse competition. At one point, the rider would enter the arena at a full run, pull up on the reins and bring his horse to a sliding stop.

With this effect on the waiting cowboys! Hilarious.

Tomorrow we'll take a look at some of the exhibit buildings and what is offered for sale. Some of it may surprise, amaze or even shock you.


Ann said...

Interesting to see the things that are the same as NOB fairs & what's different! Thanks for sharing. Going out to get the paprika today....

lisa said...

So cool. I loved the horses and boy I sure loved the cattle barn, I liked that last picture of him, you did good on the head shot.

Anonymous said...

great post wayne. that one bull's big hump is different from any i've ever seen. the leopaard apaloosas are beautiful! don't think i've ever seen any quite like those either. guess i should go to the yucatan when that fair is going on-i love attending them. hey, maybe you could be my companion ;-)

how is jeff doing? i do hope he has improved. i continue to pray for his recovery.

feliz y prospero ano nuevo.


Steve Cotton said...

If you want my theory (even though I do not recall you asking), I suspect the Appaloosa got into the Brahma pen -- to produce that spotted breed. Or, looking at that bull, it may have been the other way round. And everyone had a real good time.

Too bad the fair was not on during our trip. I would have loved going. And I would especially liked to see you kiss the Yucatanean Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

Anonymous said...

As usual, Wayne, so much fun to read.

Michele in Playa said...

Great photos Wayne! I read all your fair posts back to front. We went to the Feria de caballos in Tizimin last weekend so I have some pretty horse photos and video for you too!!