In the bull fighting area of South-West France, the Landes Department, the biggest corrida--or bull fight programme--takes place on or about the 22nd.
In the bull fighting area of South-West France, the Landes Department, the biggest corrida--or bull fight programme--takes place on or about the 22nd. July each year, in the Mont-de-Marsan arena.
This is one occasion when the promoter can expect a full house, especially when Luis Miguel Dominguin steps over the border from Spain to entertain the patrons.
The programme opens with a grand parade by the matadors and their Quadrilles--team--during which they present themselves to the President of the corrida. The President responds by throwing the key of the bull pen into the areas. A picador--mounted spearman--picks up the key and rides to the pen to release the first bull.
As the bull pounds into the ring and stands taking stock of the position, the matador's Quadrille take turns in teasing him. This initial run around helps the matador to assess the bull and any peculiar characteristics it may have, such as will it toss to the right or the left, and so on?
Having infuriated the animal and tired it, the matador's 'understudies' dive behind the shields at the side of the ring and watch the picadors take over. Mounted on armoured horses, these fellows drive at the bull with their spears, letting its blood and weakening it.
Next into the ring are the banderillos throwers. Armed with short, barbed spears, they stand in front of the bull, or in its path as it charges them, and at the last second they jump and fling weapons into the back of the bull's neck.
Minute by minute the bull is weakening, during the course of these preliminaries it losses a great amount of blood.
Now its the matador's turn, he strolls into the ring, hoping to make the perfect Mise a Mort--kill. If he doesn't make a clean kill the crowd whistles and jeers him, throwing anything, from their seat cushions to their coca cola bottles, into the ring.
The great Dominguin made two kills and earn himself 10 million francs, about GBP1,000 sterling.