by Nick Lawton
ODESSA - This is not a rodeo.
"We are maintaining an art," Tommy Aguilar, President of the Association of Charros Los Dorados of Odessa, said.
This is a Charreanada, the first of what will become an annual tournament in Odessa.
Practicing an art that pre-dates the cowboy's rodeo, the Charros of Odessa have been born and their President couldn't be more thrilled.
"I have been doing this for over 30 years, and to go to nationals, organize the first tournament here in Odessa, it is beyond, you know, it is a dream come true for me," Aguilar said.
Aguilar had been trying to start this up since 1993, and now, in 2010, these Cinderella Charros made it all the way to nationals their first year.
They compete in horse-roping, bronco-bucking, and other competitions where they are judged not on power or speed but on skill, style and technique.
"It's about skill, chivalry, and family," Aguilar said.
This is definitely a family art.
Just ask nine-year-old Roberto Grimaldo, Jr., already riding the pass of death.
It's a tradition resurrected in the heart of West Texas, carried on by each new generation.