Maria Eugenia Ruiz Loredo - Founding Member of the Escaramuza

Maria Eugenia Ruiz Loredo stands by her sister Graciela
This photo was taken in October of 1953 at the Rancho del Charro, today's National Charro Association, in Mexico City.

Maria Eugenia Ruiz Loredo is one of the first "amazonas" to ever ride in an escaramuza team. Alongside her sister Graciela and brother Arturo, she learned basic horse riding skills in a class with three other kids from the Camacho Elorriaga family at the Rancho del Charro in Mexico City.

Graciela is a founding member of the first escaramuza 

The kids' parents decided to show off their choreographed exercises during a break at a "charreada," or Mexican rodeo. That was in 1953. The crowd loved it and the escaramuza was born. Today escaramuza teams are made up of exclusively female riders, who earned their place as athletes within the tradition of charreria in 1991 when their sport was declared an official charreria sport by Mexico's Charro Federation.

Also on the team are her brother Arturo, sister Graciela, and three kids from the Camacho Elorriaga family
Maria Eugenia Ruiz Loredo rides on the first escaramuza team in 1953 at the Rancho Charro in 1953.

Below is a video of historic photographs of the first escaramuzas, with an 
interview by one of the other girls on the team, Guadalupe "Coco" Camacho.

Antonio Camacho - Founding Member of the Escaramuza

El Arte de la Escaramuza

Fotografía por Leslie Mazoch. El Arte de la Escaramuza,
Antonio Camacho in 2009

Not unlike most charros, Antonio Camacho Elorriaga was born into a charro family, but unlike others, destiny put him on the first escaramuza that ever was. That was back in 1953 in Mexico City's Rancho Charro.

Antonio rode alongside his sister Guadalupe, better known as "Coco," and his brother Jose. The three other kids were from the Ruiz Loredo family: Graciela, Maria Eugenia and Arturo.

The Rancho del Charro changed its name to the Nacional Association of  Charros, and is one of hundreds of charro associations, or private rodeo clubs, across Mexico. But this association has the historic privilege of being the birth site of today's female charro sport: the escaramuza.

Antonio continues to be an active member of his life-long rodeo club of charreria, Mexico's national sport.

The art of the escaramuza

60 Year Anniversary of the Escaramuza!

Don't miss this Escaramuza Fair celebrating the sport's 60th anniversary, hosted by the very charro association where the discipline was founded back in 1953! It's on April 20 at 12pm at the Rancho del Charro Javier Rojo Gomez in Mexico City.

This poster was created by Mexican graphic artist Emilio Garcia Salazar, whose work is available for sale. To get in touch with him, read our profile on Salazar's work.

Arturo Ruiz Loredo - Founding Member of the Escaramuza

He was a member of the first escaramuza in 1953 with his sisters
Arturo Ruiz Loredo on Oct. 18, 1953
Did you know that boys rode in the first escaramuza ? In fact, the first team was evenly split between boys and girls: three girls and three boys.

Who would have imagined that back in 1953 a charreria performance was co-ed. It didn't last long however, just a few years, as the boys began practicing other charreria sports, like roping and tumbling cattle over. 

That left room for more girls to join and that's when the escaramuza became a female affair.
He stands with his horse at his horse training center in Tepeji del Rio, Mexico
Arturo in Tepeji del Rio, Mexico. 2009

Today a professional horse trainer in Tepeji del Rio, Hidalgo, Mexico, Arturo Ruiz Loredo was just 5-yeras-old  when he rode alongside his two sisters Graciela and Maria Eugenia. The three other kids were from the Camacho Elorriaga family. Arturo reflected back on how it all started, with this comment:

"The escaramuza was not something that was preconceived, it wasn't  an idea that any particular person had who said we're going to do this and that, something planned. The escaramuza evolved like life." 

- Arturo Ruiz Loredo

Photo by photographer Leslie Mazoch when she visited him for an interview for her project about the escaramuza sport
Arturo at his horse training center in Tepeji del Rio, Mexico. 2009

The following video is an audio-slide show about the Escaramuza sport, featuring an interview with Arturo, by photographer Leslie Mazoch.

The below video is a collection of historical photographs of this first team, paired with an interview of Guadalupe "Coco" Camacho, one of the three girls on the team.

Coco Camacho - Founding Member of the Escaramuza

Coco was a founding member of the first escaramuza in 1953 in Mexico City
Coco at age 14  in 1957. Here she's at a charreria before dancing Jarabe Tapatio.  Just to her left is Graciela Ruiz Loredo, fellow founding member of the first escaramuza. The girl standing second from the right is Susana Mondragon, who joined the escaramuza after the boys left the team.
Coco was one of the founding members of the first escaramuza in 1953
Coco Camacho in 2009
Guadalupe Camacho Elorriaga, known by her friends as "Coco," was one of the six little kids who had no idea they were going to be part of something big back in 1953.

She and her two brothers, Antonio and Jose, took horse riding lessons with three other kids, from the Ruiz Loredo family, at the Rancho Charro, today's National Charro Association, in Mexico City, and performed a short choreographed version of what they had learned during a charreada, or Mexican rodeo, inadvertantly creating the first "escaramuza."

Almost 60 years later, the escaramuza is no longer co-ed, but a female discipline within charreria, officially recognized as an offical sport within traditional mexican rodeo in 1991, which hundreds of women across mexico and the U.S. proudly call their own.
"You could say it's like rain on a field that's been dry. When the escaramuza comes, it refreshes." 
 - Coco Camacho

The above video is made up of historical photographs of all six founding members, featuring an interview with Gudalupe "Coco" Camacho Elorriaga. Below, watch a documentary about the evolution of the sport and where it is today.