The bulls of Terceira Island, Azores – Description:
Bull on a rope – Azores Terceira, one of the most colorful islands in the Azores holds 230 traditional bullfights each year. The island is about 2,000 miles off the East Coast of the United States. The people of Terceira hold touradas á corda every weekend, which is a unique running of the bulls, with the bull on a rope. It is found only in the Azores, and has been popular since the 16th Century. The bull is let loose with a very long rope around its neck, usually at the main square in a village, or along the seafront. Several experienced, hefty men, guide the bull.
The idea is, that the courageous people try to get as close to the bull as they dare. After the run, the bull is taken back to the wooden crate and an outdoor festival begins. The bull is never killed. Sometimes, in the larger towns such as Angra de Heroísmo, a Portuguese equestrian bullfight will follow in the arena. The Portuguese bullfight is, at first glance, quite simple. A caveleiro, or rider, dressed in a silk jacket embroidered with gold and lace, tan riding pants and black boots, takes to the arena atop a Lusitano breed of horse. The goal of the man and horse in a Portuguese bullfight is not to kill the bull, but to draw the bull to a charge and then to place a single dart in the bull’s back muscle. The horse and bull must charge at each other, with the horse suddenly veering off to avoid an impact. Then the rider must place the “ferro” colorful dart exactly and ride off unscathed.