Ranch Cardoso
Phone: 310-409-5688
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Portuguese Style "Bloodless Bullfighting" in California is not a bunch of bull.

El Segundo, CA -- March 18, 2006 -- Before you think about calling PETA or any of your animal activist friends, you may want to consider attending a "Bloodless Bullfight" event in California and take note of this non-blood shedding event.

Unlike it's sister-act the classical Spanish style bullfights, bloodless bullfighting (Portuguese tourada, corrida de touros or tauromaquia) is simply what the title says it is.... bloodless and nobody gets the hack. Artful and yet skillful, bloodless bullfighting has been around for many years, dating back to when Portugal had King and Queens ruling the country.

The ceremony starts with all of the participants entering the arena. Starting with the guys who brings the bull in and out of the pen. Next we have the Forcados (aka the Suicide Squad), 8 men who lines up in the middle of the arena to basically catch the bull while it's charging towards them. Then enters the Banderilleros and the Matadores (professional) / Novilleros (amateur), these guys are the ones wearing a skin tight pants and a bollero type jacket called a "Suit of Light" along with pink socks. Respectable by all and the ladies fluster as they walk right pass them. And last but not least, the show stopper and crowd pleaser, the Cavaleiros (rejoneos in Spanish style). They are the guys and/or gals that enter the ring with the beautiful horses, with an equalling star status of either Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

To prevent any of the participants and horses from getting serious injuries, the bulls pointy horns are filed down and then covered with a leather wrap. The cover is removed only when a Matador has taken center stage. It is to make it his fight a little bit more challenging and exciting.

To keep this sport "bloodless", one inventive Portuguese came up with the idea of using "Velcro®", I call it "Nerf" bullfighting. A big piece of Velcro® is placed on the back of the bull, while the other end is placed at the tip of the banderillas (a stick or a spear if you will, with tassles or some kind of a decoration around it). This mechanism replaced the banderillas with the 3 inch nails used in the classic style bullfighting. A choice wisely made I should say.

This exhillirating sport is no different from rodeos, horse jumping events, horse racing, etc. An animal or a person can easily get hurt from a simple horse show just as easily as they would from the bloodless bullfight. One might look into the treatment of the animals before, during, and after the bullfight. Take our horses for example, they are cared for, nurtured, trained, and treated as if they were one of our kids. That's because they are family to us. So much time and money has been invested to care for the horses that one might think they are treated better. They are given a nutritional meal, along with a special grain and supplements fed to them a certain time of the day and exercised daily too. Their stalls are well kept and cleaned on a daily basis and continually goes through a re-modeling phase. During a bullfight, someone is always watching them to make sure they do not get hurt by each other or others. After each event, they are walked around the parking lot to cool them down to keep them from getting sick.

The bulls are also treated with respect and love. Just ask the Ganadarias (bull owners/breeders) who bring them to the fight. 15 minutes of fame and glory took at least 3 years for the bull to debut at an event. Due to the high intelligence of a bull, they can only be run once inside an arena. That's because every minute that they are in there, they are absorbing and learning the technique of what's going on. Good for the bull, but bad for the performer. That's why each entertainer must be quick and savvy to do what he needs to do. Otherwise, you may lose the interest of the bull and/or the audience. After the bull has done its deed, a group of cows brings him back in and he calls it a night. The future of the bullfighting bulls is usually retirement in the pasture to relax, graze, and/or breed and eventually to the slaughter house because it just happened to be his time. And NO, they are not killed immediately after a fight. It can take years before they meet destiny.

To sum it up, yeah there are risks involved, but life is an everyday challenge and how boring would it be if we didn't have events like these to keep us entertained. This is a family event that all should experience at least one time in their lives. Especially if you've always wanted to attend a bullfight but don't have the stomach for it. And trust me, you will feel like you are in a different country as soon as you enter the gates. But no worries, the Portuguese people are extremely friendly and definitely knows how to party and laugh all night long!

The bloodless bullfights in California are held every year, with the season starting around April and ending mid-late October. It is usually held with the celebration of Festas (religious festivals). This is definitely not a money making event. It's non-profit, and most proceeds, food, and time are donated by volunteers, committees, and festa members of the Portuguese community. Money collected at the gate for the bullfight pays for the performers. During the events, there's a Filarmonica (Portuguese band) that plays repertoires like a paso doble or a march. Portuguese food is cooked on-site and is readily available for consumption, along with fresh baked bread and Portuguese wine (imported or local). After a bullfight, the fun continues with more food, a DJ/Live band while you dance until 2 in the morning. Locations of these events are in Artesia (southern Cali), and throughout the Central Valley, and some parts of Northern California.

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Contact: [email protected]
Phone: 310-409-5688