Carlos Eduardo Ochoa Crosby
Professional roper and bulldogger
From the day he was born it was evident that Carlos, or Chale as he’s known around the rodeo circuit, wasn’t a regular kid. At the age of three while other kids were carrying around rattler toys and action figures he had with him a small rope like a natural. And as naturals tend to do, he found his place in the arenas and corrals through rusted gates and on stomped dirt. It was at the age of ten that he actually began roping, shortly after which he became a pro. As if roping and the constant threat of severing his fingers weren’t dangerous enough, life led him to steer wrestling – or bulldogging – as it’s known. He quickly fell in love with the sport and started competing in every rodeo he could find. Carlos traveled around the country grabbing first place victories like they were horns of a kicking bull and collecting buckles as trophies. When he’s not roping Calf or wrestling bulls, Carlos is a daily rancher. He says, “Growing up with cowboys my entire life I always saw Stetson. I’d wear my dad’s hat around the house ‘til I won my first competition and was able to buy my own. Stetson has always been around for me, as a cowboy you work hard all day, you’re around dirt most of the time, so wearing a Stetson hat always gave me that sense of comfort and elegance no matter how dirty I was.”
Alberto Varela Camberos
They call him Guero, for his unusually blonde hair, and his story is one of finding home. His family has been ranching for generations, starting with his grandfather down to his father and inevitably down to him. But sometimes inevitable has a way of fooling even heritage. Alberto went to college to study mechanical engineering, a field that’s rigid, each question has one answer, and isn’t very malleable or open to creativity or interpretation. For some, restriction and rigidity provide comfort and direction, for Alberto, it’s a prison. At the age of 28 he dropped out of school in El Paso, Texas and went home to his family’s vast and open lands in Chihuahua, Mexico where his brain could freely roam just as his Angus do. Today he is a full time rancher living off the land his family has nurtured for generations breeding cattle. A brain that thrives on creativity, an open and free environment that only offers weather as its restriction, and an undying and hereditary respect for nature has steered Alberto towards a holistic process of grazing known as Cell Grazing. This process ensures that the lands that have been grazed are given ample time to regrow which cuts down on weeds and intestinal parasites for the cattle. Upon any visit to El Quemado, the name of his ranch, Alberto can be found riding his horse with his Stetson hat and boots without which he says he never leaves the house. He has come to trust Stetson equipment and apparel when he’s home on his family’s ranch nurturing their land. I guess you could say it was inevitable.
Karsten was born in Arizona and of full German descent, so how did he find his way to Mexico and what kept him there? He is a skilled carpenter who was visiting Mexico and fell in love with the lands and way of life of the rancher. For him it was a no-brainer, he moved to Mexico and bought a ranch. Karsten is a German carpenter born in Arizona now breeding Brangus bulls in Mexico whose style, as he puts it, has always been Stetson or bust. Whether he’s chasing cattle on his horse or building an addition to his stable, he’s comfortable in his Stetson shirts and keeps the sun out of his eyes with his Stetson hats.
Photos and story by @angusmancilla
Mancilla is a Texas born photographer and rancher who, from a young age, found a love for horses, ranching, and life out west. After living in California for a number of years, he moved back home and now resides in Northern Mexico where he raises cattle and documents the life of the cowboy.