Bullfighting can be found worldwide in countries such as France, Portugal, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador. Here comes a brief guide to similarities and difference of bullfighting around the world.
Bullfighting in France
In France the bullfights have a long tradition. During the centuries XIV and XV, in the South of France they used “torear” as the bulls went to the slaughter house especially in Bordeaux. In the 16th century the Bordeaux authorities prohibited the bullfighting in the public streets bull allowed it in controlled enviroments.
Bordeaux and Arles are the two main areas where French bullfighting originated. These regions are still
considered today as one of the most erudite in the world.
Bullfighting in Portugal
The bullfights in Portugal are as old as in Spain, with the difference that the rejoneo (bullfighting on
horses) has even more importance in Portugal than Spain. In 1836, the bull horns were required to be covered and it was forbidden to kill a bull in the arena.
In Portugal there are some 60 herds of bravo bulls used in Portugese bullfights. A significant number of them are assigned to the different Spanish livestock associations.
From the mid-19th century cross breeding began between the locals herd with the ones in Spain. Portuguese cattle farms found resounding successes in Spain with their products, highlighted by being
Bravissimo. Among all the cross breeding pioneers, Rafael José de Cunha, Juan de Sousa or Estevao Antonio de Oliveira, and don Antonio José Palha has stood out for their bulls.
Today Portuguese is highly appreciated in the main squares of Spain and South France.
Bullfighting in Americas
Cattle or bulls were introduced to America by the Spaniards, but more as a source of food than that of bullfighting. Livestock proliferated so much that many fled to the jungle and became wild.
The wild bulls, called “cimarron”, were breed with ones arriving from called “los bravos.”
The dissemination of the Bull in America has not been homogenous. For example, there are countries with a certain bullfighting tradition that do not have their own herds and even stable bullrings. In these
countries the festivals is something primitive and marginal. These countries are, in order of importance, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and Nicaragua.
In Bolivia for any important “corrida” they get the bulls from Peru, in Costa Rica they use the Criollo and
occasionally in extraordinary occasions they get Mexican cattle.
Guatemala uses the Cebu and Mexican bulls for few serious bullfights are held.
In Panama, where they are either held many serious celebrations, the bull is import from Mexico and
Colombia. Their popular festivals they use Creole cattle.
Nicaragua uses the local wild “Criollo” for the local games.
Bullfighting in México
In the Americas, Mexico is dominates the bullfighting. The first run was held in Mexico city on June 24, 1526 to celebrate the return of Hernán Cortés. Mexico is the second country in the world by the number of arenas (bullrings) with the highest quality of bullfighters and breeders. The Mexican people have shown a high degree of love, passion and knowledge for bullfighting.
In Mexico there are some seventy major herds and about thirty of brave ones which attend Mexican bullfights.
The first Brave Bulls in Mexico in 1552 arrived from Navarra. It was the genesis of the Mexican livestock.
The first Mexican farmer was Juan Gutierrez Altamirano, first cousin of Hernán Cortés. He crossed the
Navarro’s ones with the Local wild ones (Criollos)
As a curiosity, it should be noted that one of the fathers of the Mexican independency, Hidalgo was fond of bulls and friend of bullfighters. Miguel Hidalgo Castile, hero of Mexican independence, owned the cattle farms, Openwork of Santa Rosa, and the more famous San Nicolás de Peralta.
In the 19th century Mexican farmers began tuning of the herds by bringing bulls from Salamanca, Andalucía, Castilla and Navarra.
Mexican livestock suffered a bullfighting ban decreed by Benito Juarez in 1867, and then later with the
revolution in 1911.
The first Mexican herds that gained fame in the 19th century were San Cristobal’s trap,El Salitre, San Nicolás de Peralta, Malpaso, Tepeyahualco, Gutimapé, Nopalapán, Queréndaro and Parangueo.
The currently most quoted Mexican bullfighting herd are those of San Mateo; The Punta Piedras Negras, Garfias and LLaguno.
Bullfighting in Colombia
Colombia began the bullfighting tradition in the 16th century. The first Colombian bullfights were held in the plaza
Mayor of Santa Fe in Bogotá. The bullfighting festivals in Colombia took place to celebrate the arrival of the new Virrey (men of the King) to the exaltation of the Spanish monarch or any other special event .
The celebrations of the bulls held so deeply in Colombia that it has continued after independence and exceeded many attempts to ban the bullfighting in Colombia.
However, professional bullfighters did not arrive until 1980.
The presence of the first bulls in Colombia dated back to the 16th century with origins from Navarre and
Extremadura (regions of Spain) . On the warm and fertile meican lands the bulls adapted perfectly and
start multiplying quickly.
Despite the war of independence, and even after the civil war, wild bulls dominated the regions.
These wild bulls without crossing breeding were the genesis of the present Colombian herds.
In 1925, Mr Sanz de Santamaría founded the first breeding of bravo in Colombia, called Mondeño, with
There are two types of bulls in Columbia according to the altitude they are breed. Those of high and cold
lands in the Bogota Savannah, more than 2,600 meters above sea level, and media and warm climates
less than 1500 meters above sea level.
The bulls of Highlands enjoy healthy climate, excellent water, and big pastures. The bulls that live closer
to the sea level have poor aliments and bad quality water and are also beset by numerous pests.
The most valued bullfighting herds of Colombia are the Mondeño, Ambaló, Guachicono, Iacasuco, Clara Sierrra, Fuentelapeña, Salento Aguas Vivas, and Campo Pequeno.
Bullfighting in Ecuador
Bullfights in Equador rose to prominence at the end of the 19th century. In 1920, great Spanish fighters came to fight in the Quito Festival, today still one of the most important festivals in Americas.
Ecuador has only five stable bullrings, but approximately 75 celebrations are held per year. In populations where there is no arenas they improvise with carts and Palisades. It is impossible to
calculate the number of festivals that are celebrated.
However due to the nice weather and the passion of the Ecuadorians for the bulls, the bulls celebrations are continuous throughout the year.
The first Bulls were brought to Ecuador by the Spanish colonists. In recent years, Ecuador has imported bulls of Spain to form Brave herds. Ecuador is a country of abundant and rich pastures, with a wonderful climate and abundant rainfall, with which the water is guaranteed.
The most famous Ecuadorian bullfighting herd is the Huagrahuasi, meaning “The House of the bull” in quechua. Other distinguished herds include Pinto Barreiros, Santa Coloma, Stallion of Juan Pedro Domecq.
Atocha, Santo Domingo.
Bullfighting in Perú
Peru has the oldest bull ring in Americas: the Bullring “de Acho” in Lima, inaugurated on Sunday, February 17 of1765
The bullfights in Peru are linked to the early years of the conquest in 1538 and the first Bull games took place in Lima to celebrate the defeat of the supporters of Almagro.
Bullfighting in Peru was formalized with the arrival of the Virrey Hurtado de Mendoza in 1556.
In the 19th century the bullfights in Peru are identical to the Spanish. Peru as well as in all the bullfighting
American countries, many arenas are improvised due to the large number of festivals throughout the year.
Bulls were not known until the arrival of Spanish colonizers. The first herds were not born until the
beginning of the 19th century, being the most famous : La Rinconada of Mala, Caballero and El Olivar.
La Rinconada of Mala El Olivar are the first herds to acquire Spanish bulls. Their owners, José of ASIN
and Celso Vázquez, should be considered the founders of the brave Bulls Herds in the Peru.
The fair of the “ Lord of the miracles”in the bicentenary plaza of Acho in Lima is one of the largest in the
Bullfighting in Venezuela
In Venezuela, the Festival of bulls dates back to 20 January 1567. From 1864, Venezuelans began to hold bullfights in the Spanish style. Today, Venezuelan bullfighting festivals are used to celebrate the rise to power of Charles IV. The Caracas region received the privilege to celebrate fifteen “corridas”at Easter time.
The largest herds of Venezuela are the Aranguez, Branger, Guayabita, the old Republic, Santa Monica and Tarapío, formed by Juan Ernesto Branguer and Fermín Sanz de Santa María, with cattle from Colombian Mondeño from Portuguese and Spain.