Hope Mora

Pecos Rodeo


“Escaramuza, an event within the larger-rodeo-like sport known as charrería (now recognized as Mexico’s national sport) is comprised of teams of up to 16 women performing a series of routines inside a lienzo charro, or stadium, at breakneck galloping speeds–all while riding sidesaddle”

From Riding High, Vogue by Mariel Cruz and Devin Doyle, May 25, 2018. 

The Pecos rodeo is a significant cultural event for my community, and I wanted to photograph some of the women and events during my regular visits to Texas. I photographed some of the young girls from West Texas Dandies, a small group of horse riders that kick off performances in dazzling costumes, carrying sponsor flags. Citi Serrano stands with her hand on one hip looking into the sun in her bedazzled vest, silver chaps, and cowgirl hat. A photograph can never capture how shiny and bright the Dandies’ costumes sparkled in the sun. 

I have kept in touch with Sylvia Muela, a lead member of the West Texas Escaramuza Flor del Desierto Riders, since we met at the 2019 Pecos Rodeo Parade. She invited me to take posed photos of her family and other members of her escaramuza team at her home ranch and private rodeo grounds where she keeps her horses, chickens, and cats. The Flor del Desierto Riders, like many escaramuza riders, wear beautiful, colorful traditional dresses. At her ranch, we waited for her team of young girls to arrive with their parents, friends, and brothers. I took pictures of Vane Baeza, a three/four year old little girl dressed in an Elsa costume with a blonde wig, while the members changed into their dresses and prepped their horses.