Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rejoneo (Bullfight on Horseback)

Hello everyone!!

Happy mothers' day to every wonderful lady celebrating, and a big round of applause to my mom!!
Since I couldn't be with my American mommy, I took my mama espanola to her very first bullfight ever-we both loved it!

A rejoneo is a bullfight on horseback. I liked it much better than the bullfights done on foot. When it's on foot, there are almost ten men against one bull. But with a rejoneo, it's one man and three horses (he changes for different parts of the show) against one bull. It's much more poetic this way too. I definitely enjoyed it. I wish there was another I could go to!!

Here's a breakdown synopsis. My favorite rejoneos were the second and third.

First fighter: Antonio Domecq (age 40; from Jerez de la Frontera, Espana)

A good experienced fighter. Although he had trouble placing the final kill stroke, and therefore did not win the prized ear of the bull. (You can win 1 or 2 ears, and a perfect fight receives the tail of the bull as well). However afterwards, while taking his victory walk, he asked his son (12?) to come out with him. He walked him around with him and then gave him his riding chaps; a tender dedication. It was nice to share that moment.

Second fighter: Rui Fernandes (age 32; Alamada, Portugal)

This guy was nuts! From the very get-go his performance was daring and spectacular. All the other riders wait directly opposite for the bull to come out into the ring. But this kid went right up to the door where you couldn't see him. The crowd was silent and confused. Then suddenly he and his horse are out like a rocket with the bull right on his tail. The whole ride went like that. The bull knocked one horse, but he didn't fall and wasn't hurt. Rui killed the bull on the first try and his daring performance won him an ear. Rubio.

Third fighter: Andy Cartagena (age 31; Benidorm, Espana)

I snuck out to use the bathroom (thank you, morning coffee) in between the last guy and this one, so I had to watch it standing, but I was close to the arena and got to stretch my legs. Only downside was that my camera was still at my seat with Manoli, and of course this was the best fighter. Of course. His horses were all stunning and beautifully trained. Having horses trained with alta escuela and tricks really makes the show exciting. He had his horses bow, terre a terre, piaffe, passage, climb the wall and say hello to the crowd, and balancer. Fantastic, fantastic riding. Clearly the best rider of the day. He earned an ear.

Fourth fighter: Joao Moura (age 21; Moforte, Portugal)

This guy was so young! You could tell too. He did okay; the fight wasn't as entertaining as the others because the horses weren't as well trained. Though you couldn't tell from the way this kid tried to work the crowd. He demanded loud cheers for basic things and thought he was amazing when he was just average. He wanted an ear so bad. However, the crowd didn't agree and didn't wave its white hankies, and so the dead toro left the ring with both his ears.

Fifth fighter: Leonardo Hernandez (age 23; Badajoz, Espana)

Started out with a little excitement. I am sitting in the fourth row. The bull charges out, and normally, men with hot pink blankets lure the bull to run a lap around the ring. This bull had no intention of running around at pink blankets. He ran straight for the opposite end of the arena-where I'm sitting-and jumped the arena wall into the crowd! Luckily no one was hurt and he was chased back into the ring. This guy was one of the three from the other rejoneo that was suspended. For being young he did really well, earning himself an ear. The fight was over really quickly too.

Final, Sixth fighter: Francisco Palha (age 24, Lisboa, Portugal)

This guy did really well. Unfortunately I don't remember a ton from this fight. But his horses were pretty! He didn't rejonear with his cremello, but it made for an excellent exhibition horse. One of his bullfighting horses had a sweet rear and did it a lot-wasn't sure if it was always part of the game plan haha but it looked cool! He earned an ear.

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