Today I went to Nîmes to watch the equestrian corrida of the Feria de Pentecôte 2015. Every year I am a bit hesitant to write about corridas – as I am aware of the ambivalence of some about this local tradition. This year I have decide to speak up. To that end, I have looked for what somebody else might have written on the subject that best would express my sentiment – and I found Robert Elms’ piece in The Independent (here), which I have adapted below.
When I saw my first ever corrida – it's not really a bullfight, anybody foolhardy enough to fight a bull would be a goner within minutes – I was immediately smitten. But I know not everybody is.
Much of the antipathy to the corrida comes from the misconception that it is a sport, and a deeply unfair one at that. But this unique event, which is reviewed in the culture section of Spanish newspapers alongside opera, cannot be considered a sport; the end is pre-ordained, the pattern deeply repetitive and the element of competition almost entirely absent.
Of course there are genuine anti-taurine activists whose convictions are real and valid. Groups of a few hundreds of them sometimes gather to protest outside the Roman arenas in Nîmes where I go regularly, but then again 10,000 fans of the corrida are inside.