Since the National Western Stock Show began in 1906, generations of rodeo families have participated. One the highlights is the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza with its mariachi music, folkloric dancers, bull riders and horse bucking. Performers from all over Colorado, the country and Mexico come to the Denver Coliseum. This year it also included Mexican singer Lluvia Vega. The Mexican rodeo brings beautiful culture and the traditional Mexican horse riding to a grateful audience.
The Mexican Rodeo is also a family affair. Gerardo “Jerry” Diaz is in his 35th year choregraphing the rodeo for the Stock Show. Diaz is a fourth generation charro, a Mexican horse rider who wears traditional clothing. Jerry has been coming to the National Western Stock Show for 38 years and has been producing the Mexican rodeo for 28 years.
Nicolas Diaz, Jerry Diaz’s son, is a fifth-generation horseman. He grew up around horses and was on his first horse with his dad when he was only three days old. The National Western Stock Show is in his blood.
“I’m 19 years old now. I’ve been a part of it since I was in my mom’s belly. So, it’s amazing to see all the people that we’ve known for so long,” says Nicholas. They say I remember you and you were so little. And now you’re six foot six. How time has gone by. There are old friends and new friends that we have in Denver at the National Western Stock Show.”
“My favorite part of the whole show is not actually in the show. But it is all the work that goes on behind it. And when the show kicks off, and you see all the performers and people in their element doing what they love to do, and the show is just flowing along, you kind of get a smile on your face,” says Nicholas. “Something you’ve worked for an entire year. It’s paying off. You get to see it work and so that’s really the enjoyment. I love seeing everyone work together as a big team. Everyone is so generous, so kind, so willing to do anything that anybody needs. It’s really awesome to see everybody working together.”
Nicolas dressed as Zorro as he rode with his horse Jalon, and also surprised the audience with Glory who is and American miniature horse. His mom, Staci Diaz, was in the Liberty Horse performance with a black stallion. The Diaz family brought six Andalusian horses including two grey horses that they debuted this year.
“This is the perfect show to bring them to and it’s always an honor to bring new horses here since this is our first show of our season.” Nicolas said.
There are many rodeos that are scheduled during the National Western Stock Show between now and the 22nd when everyone packs up and moves down the road. Check out their website to see the other rodeo attractions that take place during the 16 day event.