During the evening after we went to the bullfights in December I wrote a letter to the owners of the Santa Maria Bullfighting Ring. In this letter I told them how much we enjoyed the bullfight and also offered some information about what we experienced, what we heard from the those around us and some things I’m sure they weren’t aware of.
For instance, being in metal bleachers and that being the first show show of the season, we experienced rust or dirt falling down on us as people walked on the second level of bleachers above us. I suggested that before today’s bullfight that he have some people run through the upper levels so that anything that was going to fall would fall while no one sitting there. I told him that the ladies room didn’t have toilet tissue in there at the end of the bullfight and that the ladies were using paper towels that couldn’t be good for the plumbing. I also suggested that information be given about the matadors, that we, the audience, were interested in learning more about the stars of the show. A few other things were mentioned in the letter and I emailed it off. I was quite surprised to get a response the next morning. Mr Renk thanked me for writing and letting him know of these concerns and to let me know that he would address everything I mentioned, whether it be a problem or a suggestion. It felt good to be heard.
So today we went to the bullfights again. He DID do all the things he said he was going to! It was a such a pleasant experience today. Nothing fell on us as the people above us walked. He gave us so much info on all things bullfighting and I heard more than one around us shush someone in their party because they wanted to listen and didn’t want to miss anything.
After the flamenco dancers were done their show David Renk, the owners brother and one of six American matadors gave a demonstration of the different passes the matador makes with the muleta.
Before we knew it the matadors were being presented. Did you know that the term matador is only used in English.
Before the bullfighting started I asked Bunky if she wanted to get her picture taken with a matador as they were standing out front for photo ops. She said no, that she wasn’t interested in that and a few minutes later she changed her mind.
So I took for the first picture, a nice close up picture of the two of them.
I showed it to her as we were walking away and she said, “You didn’t get the socks, you have to take it again!” So this time I included the socks too,
When they let the first bull out it looked like he was hung up on something, his right horn I mean. Like it got caught the wood slats that make up the wall, or the doorway, or something. The bull didn’t come right out but looked to have had to break free from something. It didn’t take long, just mere seconds, but there some definite difficulty there.
Though we don’t know this for sure, we’re thinking he broke the horn off in trying to free himself because it flopped slightly when he ran and there looked to be some blood. If in fact this horn did grow this way then he must have cut his head on something. He seemed to favor that side also when he was charging the cape.
I’m thinking he’s bleeding and broke the horn.
I just can’t think of any reason why I would put my hand down in front of a bull that wants to kill me.
The bull took a step forward and that hand moved FAST!
The matador finally got the bull engaged on the field.
I’ll be honest with you, we just didn’t feel like this bull wanted to be here. It was like he had no interest. I don’t know if he was in pain because of that horn or whatever it was he had done to his head but something was off. Bob and I and Toni and Eddie felt kind of bad because we told Chip and Bunky how thrilling this was going to be and the first bullfight was kind of, well, blah.
The matador did his best to entice the bull.
The matador was awarded two ears despite the lethargy of the bull.
Things really perked up when the second bull came charging out of the pen.
It was like he was DARING the matador to come out from behind the barrier.
When the matador didn’t respond he went after him. There’s now a new hole in the barrier.
The second matador to fight today takes over.
This bullfight was much more exciting to watch and we, the audience, encouraged the judge to award the matador two ears and a tail.
The third bull that came out caught us all by surprise with its coloring. Up to now they have all been black.
This bull was very much into what was going on.
When the hand out to the bull happened the second time I was a bit surprised.
When he actually petted him on the nose I think we were all surprised! Not me! No way Jose!
I think it was here where the bull got a little too close for comfort.
The matador’s suit and cape were ripped by the bull’s horn.
This bull was so into this bullfight that it was just pure joy to watch it all play out.
In this picture you can see where the matador’s suit pants are torn. This Suit of Lights cost $10,000! It’s made with 10K gold thread. Once again we awarded two ears and a tail.
When the final bull came out the place went wild! He charged out of the chute snorting!
Here he was pawing the ground already.
He is not a happy camper and he came to play!
This bull is just H U G E!
He managed to get the cape away from the matador.
The matador played the bull and taunted him much to our delight. He shook his hips slightly as if to say, “Come on over here big boy.”
And he did. With a vengeance!
The matador goes for the kill,,,symbolically of course.
We cheered and yelled and OLE’d until we were practically hoarse but we were insistent that this matador get a well deserved two ears and tail. The show he gave, the skill he has, it was well deserved.
Take this as a lesson learned. If things aren’t quite up to the standards you think they should be, or want them to be, write a letter to the business owner. They DO listen. Mr. Renk, thank you for taking our suggestions and concerns to heart. The items you addressed made the bullfight so much more enjoyable to the audience. I paid attention to those around me and everyone had a great time thanks to your listening to your audience. We appreciate it.