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Disabled Cowboys in Mexico Display Toughness, Agility and Bravery

Fox News Latino
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August 4, 2016
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Mexican cowboy Salvador Espinoza rests his lasso on his leg while calling for his dog Susana to hop into the van after arriving at at the Mexican rodeo arena in Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico.  (AP Photo/Nick Wagner)

Salvador Espinoza spends his days in a wheelchair due to a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down. When he mounts his horse and tightens the back brace that helps him keep upright in the saddle, he transforms into a charro, or Mexican cowboy.

In the traditional Mexican sport of charreria, this country's version of rodeo, they say you have to be agile, tough and brave.

For Espinoza and other members of the Mexican Association of Paracharreria and Equestrian Therapy, it also means overcoming conditions such as amputations, partial blindness, deafness or paralysis while competing in the same daredevil events as their more able-bodied peers: lassoing, horse-reining, bull-riding and others.

Espinoza needs help mounting the horse and doesn't rely on the traditional stirrups attached to the saddle. But once on horseback, he's a skilled equestrian and a fearless competitor.

"This is where I have learned that athletes in wheelchairs have no limits," said Espinoza, who lost use of his legs 16 years ago when he fell from a four-story building while installing air conditioners. "The only limit is the one people give themselves."

The association was founded in 2010 as part of the Mexican Federation of Charreria, with the stated mission of combating discrimination against people with disabilities and helping integrate them through the national sport.

Read the rest at Fox News Latino

Related: Researchers Use Robotics to Improve Mobility for Children with Physical Disabilities (Timmins Press)

  Check out DIVAC Handicap Services of Vallarta

  Check out Discapacitados Visuales - The Visually Impaired


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