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  Marzo 31 de 2011
Mexican American Charros Urge You to Reject SB 364
Dear Nevada Senators, 

The Mexican American Pro Classic Charrería Organization, a nationwide nonprofit association of professionals dedicated to Preserving, Protecting and Promoting the Equestrian Art of Charrería, urges you to reject SB 364, which is being promoted as the “horse tripping bill” by its sponsor, Senator Alison Copening (D-Clark County No. 6.) 

We firmly believe that SB 364 is an attempt to set a precedent for the animal rights activists in their continuous effort to ban all forms of rodeo and equestrian sports. Their unfounded, unfair and unjustified attacks directed at our well documented, genuine Mexican American cattle and equine history must be stopped. 

The Mexican American charro, affiliated with the Mexican Federation of Charrería USA, does not practice “horse tripping” in La Charreada, recognized by scholars as America ’s first rodeo. In fact, after California’s ABX1 49 (which makes it “a misdemeanor for any person to intentionally trip or fell a horse by the legs by any means whatsoever”) went into effect on January 1, 1995, charros agreed to a self-imposed nationwide ban on Manganas (Horse catching and releasing on foot and from horseback.) The decision was made so all federated charros were subject to the same rules, not because they thought Manganas, executed only by the most skillful charros, were in any way more or less harmful to animals than other forms of equestrian events. Historically, Manganas had been used in California since colonial México as a legitimate, most effective method to catch horses for doctoring purposes. Even this latest anti-Mexican American charro initiative, SB 364, recognizes the validity of Manganas when it makes clear that “the term does not include tripping such an animal to provide medical or other health care for the animal.” Nonetheless, to conform to California’s law and make all federated members follow the same principle, The Charro Rulebook states that charros are allowed to rope the legs of an equine, but “the tie-down action is prohibited by the Mexican Federation of Charrería MFofCh in the United States of América. In addition, the MFofCh imposes disciplinary measures that include, but are not limited to, a 365 day suspension of all rights granted through The Charro Rulebook and Bylaws for any charro who disregards this rule.” (Please see enclosed Manganas chapter of The Charro Rulebook.) 

There is nothing, then, to ban in Nevada . Like the cowboy rodeo, La Charreada is an organized equestrian tradition, judged equally on style and execution. It has been strictly sanctioned and regulated by the Mexican Federation of Charrería, via its certified judges, since 1933. All federated charros abide by local, state and federal laws relating to animal welfare. Besides The Charro Rulebook and the Essential Rules Governing the Proper Care and the Humane Treatment of Animals at All Sanctioned Charreadas in the United States of America, charros abide by the Charro Code of Ethics, which places family values and animal welfare at the top of its priorities. (Please see enclosed The MFofCh USA Animal Welfare Rules.) In addition, charros abide by the Mexican Federation of Charrería USA Bylaws, which define thoroughly the rights, duties and obligations of all federated members. There is no need, then, for SB 364, particularly because, as introduced to the Nevada Revised Statutes NRS 574.100 Section 1.5. (a,) it could potentially affect another one of our charro events: Píales (Horse heel catches,) a practice in which wild horses are roped by the back legs until they’re gradually stopped, but never “tripped,” as erroneously charged by numerous animal rights activists. (Please see enclosed Píales chapter of The Charro Rulebook.) 

Dear Senators, we believe that it is of utmost importance to distinguish the difference between a horseman, who is not federated or affiliated in any way with any Mexican American Charro Federation and might be practicing an unsanctioned activity, and a Mexican American charro, who is both federated with the MFofCh USA and practicing sanctioned Charreadas. 

On the same note, it is crucial to understand that for a Charreada to be a Charreada, it has to have nine charro events, all derived directly from real life faenas de trabajo (daily tasks,) developed and perfected by charros in Colonial México for branding, castrating, taming and doctoring purposes. Trying to censure our equestrian heritage based on incidents in which none of our members were involved is simply unjustifiable. 

Ever since its inception, the primary mission of La Charreada has been to preserve, protect and promote the arts and traditions of the classic charro and his community in a healthy, safe and friendly environment. (Please see enclosed Preserving the Art of Charrería booklet.) We have over 500 years of equestrian and cattle history. As a community united by Charrería, we would like very much to maintain our equestrian tradition in Nevada for the next generation of charros. As a community, too, we urge you to reject SB 364, which is nothing but a hostile, threatening attack on the equine culture of the United States of America. 

Thank you for considering our petition. Should you have any comments, questions or would like additional information relating to Charrería, please contact us at your earliest convenience. 


The Mexican American Classic Charrería Organization 

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