Two legs not welcome

Corrida de rejones. Day of Saint Joseph, 19 March 2018, 11.30. Valencia  ( Spain )

Bulls from Femin Bohorquez, for Andy Cartagena (still recovering from a broken right arm) cut one ear and took a lap of honor. Sergio Galvan (one ear and two ears). The third was Lea Vicens, a French amazone, who took a lap of honor after her first performance and cut the two ears off her last bull. She and Sergio Galan went out on shoulders with the mayoral of the farm.

The bullring was full but not sold out. Weather fine, clouded and sunny. Rain is expected for the corrida, later in the afternoon at five.

There is another bull spectacle you can come across in a bullring. It is called ‘la corrida de rejones’, bullfighting on horseback. And although a corrida was originally performed by noblemen on horseback, this type of bullfight was only ‘re-introduced’ in the 1920’s by a formidable rider from Cordoba called Antonio Cañero. He combined his knowledge of dressage with the riding skill of farmhands when they drive bulls from their pastures or test young calves in the fields. It is now an extremely popular spectacle.

Like a corrida on foot, a ‘corrida de rejones’ is divided into three parts:

First, the horseman, who sometimes uses a long pole to attract its attention, tests the bull. Then, a broad bladed spear is planted in the bull’s neck, exposing and leaving a multicoloured flag in the hand of the rider, which is used to make the bull follow him. The second part is for placing banderillas, and finally the bull is killed.

It is remarkable to see the horses’ behaviour. Horses naturally run away from danger, but during a ‘corrida de rejones’, they are made to challenge, and even attack the bull. No doubt this is the result of a long and arduous training and some riders use tame bulls to let the horse get accustomed to its opponent. They prance, paw the ground, and perform pirouettes and even bow to a sometimes bewildered looking bull.

A rejoneador also has a group of assistants called ‘auxiliadores’, who keep him out of danger and control the bull when the rider leaves the ring to change horses (he has several and all equally beautiful). But the moment they show themselves, the public greets them with great discontent. They’ve come to see horses dance in front of a bull, not a corrida where a man waves a cape.

Anything on two legs is not welcome


Cronica de Pieter hildering

Fotografia de Mercedes Rodriguez