"There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing and mountaineering, all the rest are mere games."

Really Mr. Ernest Hemingway?

Well, I decided to check it out and so off we went to Madrid's biggest bull ring…

las ventas bullring facade

the Las Ventas.


Initial fanfare. You have the whole cotourier of 'sportsmen' going in the arena. Take note of the peones (guys with pink socks and cape) and the picadores (guys in horses).

The peones (all of them) taunts the bull with their pink cape. There partners-in-crime, the picadores also goads it and when the bull does, they jab its back with a spear.

Dont' worry about the horses, they are all have a padded armor. 


Then comes the swashbuckling star of the show- the Matador himself (in red cape). He again taunts and plays around with the already week bull. Notice the banderillas or barb darts that the peones have jabbed before.

Makes the job of the matador really easy.


Finally, he goes for the kill…


And it's all over for the bull.

Somebody will be gorging on ox tapas(!) soon….

A trail of blood…

In all, this game was repeated six times(by different matadors)  and six bulls were killed in a span of 2.5 hours.

So Mr. Hemingway, is this a sport? or Art? or Spectacle? Maybe to some.

I think it's a tragedy.

Different strokes for different folks.