THE 2004 CALIFORNIA TAURINE SEASON
By Mario Carrión
Each year for more than a decade a taurine season of about twenty corridas has been taking place in California, United States. The corridas are held mainly in towns situated in the region of the San Joaquin Valley, south of San Francisco. These corridas are announced as bloodless, and are similar to the Portuguese bullfights, with certain modifications added in order to comply with laws of California (for more information see BULLFIGHTING IN CALIFORNIA )
José Avila, the taurine correspondent of the PORTUGUESE TRIBUNE informs MMDT that the famous Spanish rejoneador Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza, after completing his performances in Mexico, will open the California Taurine Season this year. He will perform on March 12 in Gustine, March 13 and 14 in Pico Rivera and March 15 in Stevinson. Mr. Avila also sent a outline of the taurine program for the rest of the 2004 season which extends from March to October. The schedule announcing the cartels for the Hermoso de Mendoza corridas, as well as other confirmed cartels, and the tentative dates on which bullfights may be scheduled in other towns, for the rest of the season follows:
- GUSTINE BULLRING. Friday, March 12. Rejoneador Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza, from Spain, and matadors Dennis Borba, from California, and Fernando Ochoa, from Mexico. Bulls from "Frank Borba and Sons".
- PICO RIVERA SPORT ARENA, LOS ANGELES. Saturday, March 13. Rejoneador Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza, from Spain, and matador Fernando Ochoa, from Mexico. Bulls from Manuel da Costa Jr.
- PICO RIVERA SPORT ARENA, LOS ANGELES. Sunday, March 14. Rejoneador Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza, from Spain, and matador Israel Téllez, from Mexico. Bulls from Manuel da Costa Jr.
- STEVINSON BULLRING. Monday March 15. Rejoneador Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza, from Spain, and matadors Fernando Ochoa and Israel Téllez, from Mexico. Bulls to be announced.
- MADERA BULLRING. Saturday, April 24. Cavaleiro Joe Correia, from California; matadors: José Ignacio Ramos, from Spain, and Mario Coelho, from Portugal. Bulls from Manuel Correia.
- STEVINSON BULLRING. Monday, April 26 Cavaleiros Joe Correia and Eduardo Costa, both from California; matadors José Ignacio Ramos, from Spain, and Mario Coelho Jr., from Portugal. Bulls from "Frank Borba and Sons", and Joe Souza
- STEVINSON BULLRING. Monday, May 3. Performers to be announced. Bulls from M. Correia, M. Machado, M. Costa, J. Souza, "Açoriana" and "São Martinho".
- GUSTINE BULLRING. Monday, May 24. Cavaleiro Eduardo Costa, from California; matador César Castaneda, from Mexico. Bulls from "Açoriana" and "São Martinho".
- STEVINSON BULLRING. Monday, May 31. Cavaleiro Tito Semedo, from Portugal. The other performers to be announced. Bulls from "Ganadaria Açoriana".
- STEVINSON BULLRING. Monday, June 7. Cavaleiros: Pedro Franco, from Portugal and Eduardo Costa, from California. Bulls from "Ganadaria Açoriana".
- TULARE BULLRING. Friday, June 11. Cavaleiro Vitor Ribeiro, from Portugal; matador Rafael Ortega, from Mexico. Bulls from Candido Costa.
- In addition tothe corridas mentioned above, the following two bloodless bullfights are already programmed for the season, but the cartels have to be completed: Stevinson, June 14; and Pico dos Padres, June 28. Other corridas have tentative dates: Gustine, July 19; Artesia, July 26; Gustine, September 20; and Thornton, October 16 and 18.
- The program for the taurine season will be completed with five additional bullfights, which are in the planning stage. One will be held at Pico dos Padres, and two each in Laton and Escalon.
If the "bullfighting pioneers", Portuguese-American men like Frank Borba, Manuel Sousa, and Manuel Correia, who a little more than three decades ago, with great determination, and against all odds, introduced 'el toreo' in the San Joaquin Valley, could examine the extensive 2004 California bullfighting program, they would be very proud to see how the bullfighting they molded for America is alive and growing in California.
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