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Cuban Rodeo Harkens Back to Spanish Roots

The fair is a celebration of over two centuries of Cuban rodeo tradition, bringing together top riders from all over the island and other countries.

. The Grand Entry opens the third day of the 17th Boyeros Catllemen's International Fair in Havana, Cuba, on March 22, 2014. Popular around the Americas, rodeo has its roots in the skills required of cattle herders in Spain and the New World. The word itself comes from the Spanish term for "roundup." Ramon Espinosa / AP

. Cowboys strain their necks to get a look at competitors, as a rider prepares to enter the arena, on March 22. The roughly 60 participants competing in the rodeo events came mostly from Cuba but also Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama. Ramon Espinosa / AP

. A Cuban cowgirl walks into the arena as a Mexican competitor waits his turn at the rodeo on March 22. Cuba's eight-day international rodeo festival is half party and half a cowboy-skill showcase. Ramon Espinosa / AP

. Cuban cowboys compete in a steer wrestling event at the rodeo on March 23. There is still a strong cultural influence in Cuba from its one-time Spanish colonizers, and the rodeo featured all the standby traditional events: bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, lasso demonstrations and remarkable feats of daredevilry. Ramon Espinosa / AP

. A rider gets ready to leave the chute during the rodeo competition on March 22. Ramon Espinosa / AP

. A cowboy from Mexico displays his lasso-handling skills during a rodeo event on March 21. Ramon Espinosa / AP

. A woman straightens a young man's shirt collar as he prepares for rodeo competition on March 21. The fair is a celebration of over two centuries of Cuban rodeo tradition, bringing together top riders from all over the island and other countries. Ramon Espinosa / AP

. Cowboys representing Cuba's national bull riding team greet each other at the start of a competition on March 23. Ramon Espinosa / AP

. Breeders stand with their goats as they are recognized as exemplary at an awards ceremony on March 23. Ramon Espinosa / AP