A wall painting unearthed at Knossos in Crete, dating from about 2000 BC, shows male and female acrobats confronting a bull, grabbing its horns as it charges, and vaulting over its back.

The art of bullfighting on horseback, as currently practiced in Portugal, where it is called toureio equestre and in Spain and Mexico, where it is called rejoneo, claims a direct origin to the Iberian Peninsula, having developed from Middle Ages war exercises, particularly the cavalry.

Coridas mixtas are also popular, where a rejoneador and two matadores (or a rejoneador, matador and novillero - the last of which is an apprentice matador) perform.

Bullfighting in Spain traces its origins to 711 A.D. The first bullfight took place in celebration for the crowning of King Alfonso VIII. In Spain, an estimated one million people each year watch bullfights.

Until King Felipe V, who took exception to the sport) banned the aristocracy from participating, the sport belonged to the nobility. The King believed that aristocrats in bullfights set a bad example to the public. Commoners enthusiasticlly adopted the sport, but since few could afford horses, took the fight to the ground, confronting the bull on foot, and modern corrida began to take form.

Today’s bullfight is much the same as it has been since about 1726, when Francisco Romero of Ronda, Spain, introduced the estoque (the sword) and the muleta (the small, more easily wielded worsted cape used in the last part of the fight).

During a performance, rejoneadores often ride several horses:

• A parade horse - physically attractive and disciplined
• A horse for the first tercio (entrance of bull) - very fast and brave.
• A horse for the second tercio (banderillas) - fast, agile, and a natural instinct for fooling the bull
• A horse for the third tercio (death of bull) - very steady
Bullfighting horses are highly trained to swerve instantly, yet remain calm when charged by a fierce, angry bull. The must possess an extreme dose of bravura, agility, and obedience.

A rejoneador's usual costume consists of a dark waistcoat (usually brown or grey), brown leather chaps and a broad, straight-brimmed hat.

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=8251327
Rejoneador and Palomino stallion (most likely Lusitano).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTYWw3f7kx8
Pablo Hermoso

Now we’ll pass the champagne, chocolate and baked brie! Join me in celebrating the release of my erotic novella, Hot Spanish Nights, from The Wild Rose Press, The Wilder Roses.

There will be random drawings. Among the prizes are t-shirts, coffee mugs, pens and refrigerator magnets.

Let the party begin!

Cheers! Bianca

18 comments

  1. Mona Risk // October 29, 2010 at 10:30 AM  

    YEAH!!! Cheering for you Bianca. Congratulations on a book that promises to be very enjoyable. I read with a lot of interest your explanations about bullfighting, horses and costumes.

    Ten years ago I had the privilege of attending a bullfight in Madrid while we were touring Spain in a organized tour. For our delight, the crowd screamed El Rei before the fight began. We learned that the King of Spain had decided to make an unexpected appearance. That was the bonus of our trip. I was biting my nails during the bullfights, for both the torreadors and for the poor bulls.

  2. Lilly Gayle // October 29, 2010 at 10:38 AM  

    Congrats on your release, Bianca. And thanks for sharing the history behind the romance.

  3. Bianca Swan // October 29, 2010 at 11:36 AM  

    Thanks Mona and Lilly for stopping by! I'd love to see a bullfight with the rejoneadors. I'm totally in love with the Spanish horse. I'm sure I'd be nail-biting too.

  4. Mary Ricksen // October 29, 2010 at 12:13 PM  

    Oh my God I love your cover Bianca!
    I once saw a bull fight in Mexico, just over the border from El Paso, near Juarez. It really grossed me out and I felt horrible for the bull. I did think the matadors were really cute and brave. I just found it really cruel to the poor bull. Now I know it is a matter of pride for the people of Mexico and Spain, I guess I am a wuss.
    Now about reading that book!
    I can't wait!

  5. Delaney Diamond // October 29, 2010 at 12:57 PM  

    Congratulations on your new release. The information on the history of bull-fighting was interesting, too. I had no idea it started out on horseback.

  6. Patrice // October 29, 2010 at 1:20 PM  

    Happy release day, Bianca! Your book looks sizzling hot, and I hope it generates many sales. Thanks for the background information too.

  7. Beth Trissel // October 29, 2010 at 2:38 PM  

    Mega congrats Bianca~! I enjoyed this post, and learning more about the history behind the story. Kewl.

  8. Bianca Swan // October 29, 2010 at 3:22 PM  

    If anyone would like to see the trailer and read an excerpt, you can find them on my blog:
    http://biancaswanblog.wordpress.com

    I'm glad you liked the info on bullfighting and am glad to have guests at my release day party.

    Pass the champagne!

  9. Mary Marvella // October 29, 2010 at 4:53 PM  

    Informative and interesting, Bianca. Now tell us the really personal stuff about bullfighters. Do the really last longer, charge better,and use their "swords" with more finesse and strength?

    I'm loving your story so far.

  10. Julianne // October 29, 2010 at 6:22 PM  

    What an interesting article, Bianca. I always do like learning something new. Thanks! Good luck with your new release. And I agree with Mary, that cover is hot! ;)

  11. Bianca Swan // October 29, 2010 at 7:10 PM  

    Mary Marvella, everything you hint at about bullfighters is absolutely true--stamina, agility, and extreme talent with a sword. Not that I know firsthand, but one can dream

  12. Bianca Swan // October 29, 2010 at 7:12 PM  

    We have a winner in the random drawing. Lilly Gayle please contact me at biancaswan20@yahoo.com. You won a fridge magnet, an autographed cover flat and some Halloween candy--oh and a TX lottery ticket!

  13. Joanne // October 29, 2010 at 9:05 PM  

    Hurray! Fabulous, interesting, and hot post. Congrats on the release.

  14. Barbara Monajem // October 29, 2010 at 11:02 PM  

    Hooray!! I just downloaded my copy of Hot Spanish Nights!

  15. Pamela Varnado // October 29, 2010 at 11:11 PM  

    HOT! HOT!HOT! Party time!! Congratulations! I can't wait to read the story. Will go over now and purchase it.

    While my husband was stationed with the military in Germany, I traveled to Barcelona, Spain and saw a bullfight. Like Mona, I bit the heck of my fingernails. My heart went out to the bull.

    Is it true they are thinking about outlawing bullfighting in Spain? Someone told me this a while back.

  16. Judy // October 30, 2010 at 4:27 PM  

    Linda, sorry to be late chiming in. Congratulations on the release! Good luck with it!!

  17. Caroline Clemmons // October 30, 2010 at 10:21 PM  

    Bianca, I didn't realize that horses were ever used in bull fights. Poor things. I hate to think of a horse being gored by a bull.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge of bull fighting. Best wishes for mega sales.

  18. Bianca Swan // October 31, 2010 at 7:51 PM  

    Thanks Judy and Caroline for joining us. I'm blogging at Naughty in the Backseat 11/2 and there will be prizes!