2004 Photo Contest, Sports, 1st prize

Henry Agudelo & Jaime Pérez Munévar

El Colombiano

01 January, 2001

La corraleja, a version of traditional Spanish bullfighting, is extremely popular along the Atlantic coast of Colombia. The tradition goes back some 200 years. Bullfighting fiestas go on for up to seven days, with animals that can weigh over 500 kilograms. Contests last from late afternoon through to the early evening, and are divided into sessions of five to 30 minutes. Teams of three to five men, either on foot or mounted on horseback, attempt to exhaust the bulls, using banderillas (spiked sticks) bearing the team colors. Each team represents a region, village, or part of a town, and the members are local sports heroes. Some team members specialize in acrobatics, which adds to the spectacle. The session ends when the bulls are exhausted, which is decided by a referee who also tots up the number of banderillas remaining in the bull to allot each team a score. Bulls are then allowed out of the ring, to return to fight the following day. At the end of the fiesta, cumulative team scores are tallied, and the winners go home with prize money that can amount to between US$ 1,000 and US$ 2,000. A trophy is also awarded to the owner of the bull that has proved most difficult to beat.

About the photographer

Henry Agudelo & Jaime Pérez Munévar

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