Course camarguaise

March 15, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

This event was photographed in St Chaptes in Gard.

Course Camarguaise is a French sport where the players pull tassels from between a bull's horns.

Black bull of the camagueCourse camarguaise

Not only to the bulls survive the day, some can attain celebrity status. I was told that in some cases there are statues to particularly successful bulls. 

 

There are teams of five players, some distract the bull and work it into a position where others can grab the tassels. The bulls are very aggressive and in order to survive, the players have to jump for their lives out of the arena.

JumpCourse camarguaise Sometimes the bulls get very, very aggressive and rip up the arena inner wall. I took two photos in this sequence, in one the frame was entirely red as the plank flew past my face.

flying plank - a bull ripping up the arena wall.Course camarguaise This one was on the other side of the arena and eventually the bull made its way into the passage around the edge of the ring. All the people in there had to jump for their lives.

Looking for troubleCourse camarguaise Once the action starts properly, it's fast and spectacular.

ActionCourse camarguaise ActionCourse camarguaise After the bull fights the bulls were run along the road to their transport, this is known as "bandido."

BandidoCourse camarguaise BandidoCourse camarguaise In the second bandido shot you can see the outline of a curly headed boy just above the bull's horns. That's my son Alexander.

When I took these shots, I look very close to the action, but in fact there was a very deep ditch between the road and a field I was in and I was perfectly safe. Since then, the ditch has been filled in and it's down to the riders' skill to keep the bulls under control.

This was my first exposure to the sport. At the time I was quite interested in trying to get some slightly blurred photos using slow shutter speed in the fashion of Ernst Haas and spent less time trying to get sharp action shots. I would like to photograph this again and see what else I could get. The gallery for these photos is here http://petermeadephotography.zenfolio.com/cc07 .

 


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