Antonio Huerta shows his lasso skills to onlookers as he corrals a rogue desk chair out front of Springfield City Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 10.
SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Public Library has been holding Springfield Welcomes the World! events every Wednesday this summer at the City Hall fountain in an attempt to bring a variety of arts and culture into the community. Their latest guest was Antonio Huerta, a University of Oregon admissions counselor who shared his roping talents with the children and families present.
“I grew up in a village in Mexico, and I was probably six or eight years old when I started doing that kind of work,” Huerta said. “Riding horses, moving the cattle, I needed to use the rope. So that’s how I learned to do rope tricks.”
Huerta put on a masterful show of rope tricks, including a sequence where he jumped side-to-side through the rope 28 consecutive times. He then showed off his cow (or in this case chair) roping skills, and even brought up some of the children for them to try their hand at roping.
“This activity dates back to the 1500s when the Spanish brought horses and cattle,” said Huerta. “In Mexico this sport, or the Charreria tradition, has really taken off. And now it is known as the national sport of Mexico.”
Charreria is a way of life for livestock herding communities in Mexico, and the traditions have been passed down from generation to generation for over 500 years. Now Huerta shares those traditions with the people of Oregon, spreading the Charreria spirit as much as he can.