The fine Californian matador Dennis Borba, of Portuguese descent who, since he became a full-fledged matador in Mazatlan, Mexico on March 27, 1986, has fought mostly in California, is broadening the scope of his presentations by fighting in other countries in the 2000 and 2001 seasons.In addition to bullfighting as a matador, Dennis has always been involved in other taurine activities by helping his father, bull breeder Frank Borba, with the management of his brave bull cattle ranch and with the promotion of their own Escalon Bullring. Recently, besides performing as a matador in his native state, he has been promoting taurine spectacles on his own. But what is really news is that Dennis, following the footsteps of other matadors such as Belmonte, Arruza and Paco Ojeda, is trying his luck in the bullring fighting on horseback as a rejoneador.
Mi Mundo Taurino-My Bullfighting World has learned of Dennis Borba's recent taurine activities from Lulu Dasilva, who sent us detailed information about some of his taurine activities and accomplishments as a matador as well as a rejoneador in the arenas of several countries. Some of these activities can be considered taurine adventures, since they were held in places where the celebration of corridas is not the norm. From Lulu's notes we extract the following.
After his outstanding performance in the II International Corrida, held at Stivenson's bullring, in California, on August 25th ,2000, Dennis, taking along twelve bulls and one bullfighting horse, headed to Arkansas City, Kansas, to introduce the fiesta brava in that state with the presentation of three bloodless bullfights. Matadors Michel Lagravere, from France, Marco Antonio Aguirre and Jorge San Roman, from Mexico were on the cartels. All performed very successfully. Everything was going as planned until the rejoneador, who was scheduled for three corridas, was unable to perform because he had trouble with his visa. Then Matador Dennis Borba saved the day by substituting for the rejoneador. He surprised everyone by fighting on horseback with great skill in three corridas on September 8, 9 and 10. The Group of Forcados from Queretaro, Mexico, rounded out the cartels.
Dennis colleague Michel Lagravere was so impressed with his ability as a rejoneador, that he contacted a Peruvian promoter, who arranged Dennis' double presentation as matador and rejoneador in three corridas in the Feria de Tacabamba, Peru, on October 9, 13 and 14. In his first corrida he fought on horseback, and in the other two as a matador. He was sharing the cartels with Spaniard Josť Carlos Lima, the Frenchmen Michel Lagravere and "Morenito de Nimes". Dennis and Josť Carlos were awarded "Escapulario de Plata" trophies, since they obtained one ear in each corrida in which they appeared.
From Peru Dennis Borba traveled to San Jose, Costa, Rica, in Central America, to perform in four corridas in the town of Zapote. His contract called for appearing in three corridas as rejoneador and in one as a matador. Since he had to perform using horses of the local bull breeding ranch "Ganaderia 3 X", owned by the Abarca family, he arrived in San Jose one week prior to the first corrida, for purpose of selecting and training the horses for the rejoneo. After testing the bullfighting ability of several animals, practicing with calves, Dennis chose two horses, but because one of them was slightly injured, he ran the risk of performing on horseback on the three occasions with only one horse, a beautiful and graceful Andalusian specimen called "Clarin". Those corridas took place on December 23, 25 and 28. Dennis, as Carlos Arruza used to do years ago, after performing on horseback, dismounted and fought on foot with the muleta. He pleased the crowd with his good work fighting on horseback as well as with his dominant and artistic work done with the muleta. Later, on December 30, the Californian appeared wearing his suit of lights in a regular corrida, performing along with Michel Lagravere and Carlos Rondero. It is worth noting that the corridas were televised live in Costa Rica and in Panama. This was a plus for the fiesta brava, since in those countries bullfighting is not an integral part of their cultures.
Because of their successes in those fights Borba and Lagravere are scheduled to fight again in Zapote in December 2001.
From Costa Rica, Dennis went to Mexico to fight a corrida as a matador at The Feria of Valladolid, Yucatan. He shared the cartel with Lagravere and Mexicans Carlos Rondero and Paco Rocha, confronting bulls of "The Mision" ranch. Dennis completed a magnificent faena with a noble bull, but failed to obtain the maximum trophies, which he deserved, because he did not finish the bull on his first thrust with the sword. On the other hand, the Frenchman cut two ears and Rondero one.
After a vacation in Brazil with his family in February, Dennis Borba will renew his campaign in Panama. There, Borba again will perform in a few corridas on horseback in the town of David. Lagravere and "Juanito", the only native of Panamanian matador, will also participate in some of those corridas. The bulls to be fought belong to the "Ganaderia 3X" of the Abarca family.
Lulu Dasilva, referring to the accomplishments of the Californian, as promoter, matador and rejoneador, closed her notes claiming that "Dennis Borba has performed in more foreign countries than any other American matador in history. He appeared in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Portugal, Peru, Panama, and Costa Rica."Return to MY WRITINGS