Tuesday, October 21, 2008

California Portuguese Style Bloodless Bullfight

Last night I met up with my brother in Thornton, California which is 30 minutes from Sacramento, California to watch a Portuguese Bloodless Bullfight. Yup there are bullfights in California. It was a good one!! There was a female cavaleira, horse[wo]man, by the name of Sonia Matias and cavaleiro, horseman, Rui Ferando both from Portugal and matador Jose Ignacio Ramos. It was supposed to be Anna Baptista but she hurt her wrist somehow and was unable to make it.

Here is a photo of Anna Baptista in Gustine, California in 2004 when I first saw her.

I couldn't help taking a picture of the beautiful cape that the matadors were wearing in the opening ceremony, this one caught my eye as it laid on the edge of the arena. It's worn by the matador on the far right side of the photo below.

The opening ceremony or presentation, with horseman, matadors, and the men in the back in white help remove the bulls from the arena when its time to change bulls. For each bullfight there are usually six bulls.

The horses outside the arena waiting for their turn to go into the arena. The horses are usually the Lusitano breed.

Sonia Matias smiling to the crowd after a job well done.

Sonia running from the bull after stabbing several bandeirilhas, which are small javelins that attach to a patch of Velcro on the bulls back and don’t cause any harm to the bull.

Cavaleiro, horseman, Rui Fernandes from Portugal as he also places bandeirilhas on the bull velcro patch.

Rui Fernandes on a new horse

Forcados Amadores, or suicide squad, from Turlock, California. The forcados consist of a group of eight men, who challenge the bull directly without any weapons or protection. They perform the traditional pega (the grab) where they stand in the middle of the arena and the first man provokes the bull, the bull charges him and he grabs the bulls face and the rest of the men surround and secure the animal until he is restrained. If they succeed and catch the bull like in the third picture, they win if they don't and they get thrown around like in the second picture they have the chance to do it two more times.

Matador,Jose Ignacio Ramos from Spain placing bandeirilhas on the bull.

And this is one of the helper matadors who just goes out to distract the bull.

There are three bulls and then there is a break and then the other three bulls. During the break they passed out little posters of the metador and the cavaleiro/a so I was able to grab two different poster of Jose Ignacio Ramos and later I found one of Rui and while I was sitting the people in front of me go a poster of Sonia so when Sonia was watching the bullfight herself I went and asked her for her poster and she had just passed out her last three to some little kids, and it had her signature, I was a bit jealous. I wanted to get Jose's signature but he did the last bull and then he left the arena I could have chased him down but I was more interested in taking a bandeirilha home, because my friend Luis was putting the bulls in and taking of the Velcro patches but he couldn't give it to me cause they recycle them and they are owned by someone specific, or the owner of the bull. So as I was heading out of the arena I bumped into my friend Mr. Martines who owns bulls and is also in the Forcados and he told me that next time I see him he will bring me one that he brought back from a Portugal bullfight, isn't that exciting, I think that is really cool!!!

Here are the posters:

(I have two copies of the top two, I was thoughtful and had someone in mind but I'm not sure I will get the chance to get it to them)

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