When a Spanish matador realizes the bull is weak and unable to charge much longer he will reach for his killing sword and seek to maneuver it directly in front of him with its head down, so that he can administer the death stroke. The matador looks down the sword to sight the target, leans over the horns and attempts to insert it between the cervical vertebra and into the bull’s heart.
If the matador has performed well and made a quick, clean kill he will be applauded, do a lap of honour and be showered with flowers, hats, cushions and anything else to hand. The crowd demonstrates its approval of a fight by waving white handkerchiefs which are a signal to the president to award the matador a trophy, such as an ear or tail. If the bull has put up a good fight, its carcass will also receive a lap of honour and very occasionally if a bull is exceptionally brave or strong and the matador is unable to kill it, it may be spared and allowed to return to its stud farm to live out its life in peace.