Again, braving the cold, we walked into Columbus to view the Cabalgata, a tradition where riders from both countries meet at the US/Mexican border. New Mexico dignitaries invite the Chihuahua dignitaries to accompany them, and both groups ride the three miles into Columbus to celebrate their common heritage where Hispanics and Anglos have long experienced a successful blend of cultures. We estimated about 300 horses rode in this unusual parade.

Leading the way was this Mexican dignitary outfitted as Pancho Villa.

There were shouts from bystanders as they recognized various riders from Mexico. Shouts of “bravo” and other Spanish words that I didn’t understand that brought friendly responses in turn.

Riders came in established groups, some with banners, or the same color scarves allowing us to think they have ridden in this Cabalgata year after year as a tradition.

They came as families.

A long ride on a small pony.  We shouted “bravo” to them for braving the cold.

They came as single riders.

Some with dancing horses. The number of riders blew us away.

On our walk to the park for the festivities, I saw these business-man bad guys, trying to look mean.

One week after Villa’s raid on Columbus, 10,000 troops led by General “Black Jack” Pershing led the Punitive Expedition into Mexico to capture Villa.  One skirmish with Mexican Federales near Parral, and President Wilson called off the search. The expedition was  the last true mounted cavalray action by the United States Army. A man outfitted as Pershing did some play acting for the cameras. He halts this group of riders at gun point.

We think  “Pershing” is speaking to the U.S. Sheriff of Luna County from some of the voices we heard in the crowd.

And, there was friendly sword and pistol play between the bad guys and “Pancho” who we think is a Sheriff in the state of Chihuahua. Villa’s forces were dispersed and Villa vanished into the back country never to raid again. In 1920 President Adolfo De La Huerto negotiated a peace with him and he was allowed to return to his ranch in Parral. Three years later he was assassinated by unknowns who were never arrested.

Whoever he was, we were fascinated with his showy saddle-horn and the friendly interplay.


Then we watched the horses ride out-of-town, or pack their animals into trailers and end their ride for the day.

It was like watching the parade all over again.

We watched as another dancing horse danced his way out-of-town.

We move today to Rockhound State Park. We enjoyed the festival and the food and I’ll blog it tomorrow.

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