Sunday, January 24, 2016

Bull Fights at the Santa Maria Bullring in La Gloria, Texas


On January 24th the Winter Ranch Bus took a full busload to the Bull Fighting Ring at LaGloria, Texas.  Bull fighting is a sport dating back centuries to Spain, Portugal and Mexico.  Now the tradition is taking place at a ranch in deep South Texas, with a twist. The bull fights at LaGloria are bloodless.  Hundred come to watch bullfights that end not with a sword, but when the matador plucks a flower from the back of a bull.


                    The entrance to the Santa Maria Bull Ring in La Gloria, Texas


This entrance is where the parade comes into the ring,  We got into the stands to the side of this entrance and up a bunch of metal stairs.  The small brown gate top right is where the bulls enter the ring.  The feisty ones seem to come out rear-end first and kicking!



From this sign at first I thought maybe these bulls ended up at this place, however, then I remembered these are “bloodless bullfights”.



When we arrived there were a couple of bulls that needed to be put into different pens so we went over and watched the action behind the scenes for awhile.


This bull did not want to head back to where they wanted him.  He kept kicking up the dust and bellowing at the team trying to get him moved.


This is where he was headed.  That second bull put up quite a fight.  They got him past the first pen and slammed the gate but he turned right around knocked the gate back open and raised a lot of dust.  Then they had to start all over again.  They finally managed to get him where he was supposed to go.


                                                                   The Master of Ceremonies


This beautiful young lady had a very strong voice and sang a few mariachi songs for us prior to the bullfights.  She was awesome!



                              This is Fred Renk announcing the action at the bull fights


The parade into the bullring begins.  The two horses coming in first have performed at the Rose Bowl Parade for a few years.





                         Young Lady Announcing the first Matador Guillermo Ibarra





They couldn’t pay me enough to open this gate and let the bulls in and then close it when they leave!


                                                         The first bull comes out strong!






                               Guillermo Ibarra is the top ranked matador in Mexico



The bull got the best of the best matador in Mexico.  He needed help to get him out of this but at least he did not end up hurt.



After the matador was able to get up a young matador kept the bull distracted until the grounded matador could get back up.  We all waited with baited breath to see if he was okay and not heading to a hospital!  It can be bloodless for the bull but not so for the Matador.  It ended up that he was okay and he fought another bull, however, he never seemed to get back in the swing of things and I was glad when he ended his performance.


                                                                              Ole!

The next Matador was Cesar Castaneda.  He is currently ranked No. 4 in Mexico.  He certainly put on a show today. We couldn’t believe this guy he got so close to the bull and just kept his coming at him without any problem and this bull was feisty.  By the time it was over the bull almost looked hypnotized. He may be on his way to No. 1!


That's us in the stands.



He was awarded two ears and a tail for this last performance!


It was an interesting experience but probably not something that we'd attend weekly ever!