Chilean traditional rodeo was declared the national sport in 1962 and there is a big difference between Chilean rodeo and the one found in North America.
Instead of the usual spectacle of a frantic rider trying to tie a rebellious bull with ropes, the goal of local rodeos is pinning a cow to the arena's wall while riding a horse. Participants of Chile's rodeos are Chilean cowboys called Huasos. They traditionally wear national clothes for the competition and perform the task in pairs. Though it might sound simple, the cows are not so easy to be caught even by a couple of experienced cowboy riders: for every successful move the competing pair earns extra points, but when a cow escapes, participants lose points. The game is particularly popular in the Chilean countryside, the season begins in early September and lasts until late March, and the kick-off event is usually a big party with lots of traditional food and dance. A high number of rodeo championships is held on Chilean national day which falls on the 18th of September as well as other public holidays.
The first Chilean rodeos took place in the Plaza de Armas of Santiago. These rodeos would place a lot of tension on the huasos that participated and would often last for days. To cope with the stress, the huasos turned the rodeo into a game.