April is "taurino" by excellence. Sevilla, Aguascalientes and why not, the valley of San Joaquin in California to have a bullfighting event.
That is exactly what happened this past weekend at Elk Grove and Turlock. Having Emil's Hotel as the gathering place, that Friday, a group of passionate "aficionados practicos" met, and guided by matador Dennis Borba we formed a convoy and headed towards Elk Grove, the place where the first "tienta" took place. The second "tienta" would take place the next day at Turlock.
Once at the "placita", each of the aficionados took a place at one of the "burladeros" in midst of a great silence of expectations. Adam, Torey and his dad (Don Nacho), Ian, Pichi, Anastasia (new student), Fred, Mike, matador and myself made up the "cartel" for the day.
Five cows were fought, which in general gave a good game, taking into account that all "aficionados" got a chance to be in front of at least four cows. One by one, we took turns in showing off our skills and "aficion", a progress in everyone was evident, taking past "tientas" as the comparison.
Pichi did OK, and his "aficion" has reached a high level, enhorabuena! Personally, I believe I did good during the "tienta". The culmination of the evening was a "quite" I did by "codobesas", which turned out great and artistic; with little distance and a soft "cite". I started by gently opening my "capote", taking her (the cow) hooked to my capote and making her go long (travelled distance), crossing a little at the end of each "pase", it took four pases to later finish with a tight rebolera. With another cow which was not as easy, I was able to get three series of tight "manoletinas" which were also liked by the audience.
The second "tienta" took place on Saturday, this time it was at Turlock, a ranch known for cows with high temper and some difficulty. Every one of us again took turns in demonstrating artful "lances" and "pases". Pichi grabbed people's attention once again as he did on Friday. During my various turns in front of the cow, I was able to give good "derechazos" and "naturales" that made me feel "Torero"; another great moment was the series of five "pases" "por alto" I gave to a cow, set against "tablas. Yet again on the fourth cow of the evening I went out to give some "manoletinas" being applauded.
Besides the cows, two "novillos" were also part of the "tienta", the first of around 360 kgs was not an easy animal, he had temper, but matador Borba easily handled the animal. The second "novillo" was around 340 kgs. this was a more manageable animal and with a clear "embestida", matador Borba was able to get outstanding passes out of the animal. Before coming to an end, Borba gave his "trastos" to Pichi, who was able to get two series of "muletazos" from the left. Very Good Pichi! Tory also made an appearance and gave good "pases". I wanted to grab my muleta and get some passes out of the animal, but by that time, it had already developed "sentido". At the same time, Adam seemed calmed when fighting the "novillo", he was able to get good "lances" with the "capote" as well as great pases with the "muleta"
In summary, a great "taurino" weekend.
Until next time,
Pictures of this workshop