Last spring when I was in Spain attending a photography seminar, we had the opportunity to photograph the horses at the Rancho el Rocio near Seville. At this ranch are bullfighting horses and bulls and two legendary brothers Angel and Rafael Peralta who are known as "the lords of rejoneo", the bullfighting on horseback. On one day, we were welcomed to their wonderful ranch, and were able to tour the extensive well maintained grounds and photograph their horses.
One horse in particular stayed in my mind, one that has been added to my Elder Horse Project. The 30 year old Brujo, (translation: Wizard) winner of 500 bullfights, a remarkable horse, said to be able to know his rider's thoughts in the bullfighting ring as if by magic. He was more than a good horse, he was a great horse. This month, Brujo passed away. A long life, a spectacular life a life well loved and admired by his people.
Back in May, when he was brought out for us to photograph, an old warrior, long in the tooth, his body aged but his mind still vibrant, he winnied his stallion challenge, and stood with a look in his eyes that showed that the spirit was still willing to take on whatever may come his way. I thought about his courage, perhaps even his audacity in all of those fights. I am not a fan of bullfighting, indeed, of any blood sport, but I am definitely a fan of the heart of the bullfighting horse.
So I tip my glass to you Brujo, the heart of a warrior. Good journeys to you.
"An agile, flexible, artist, of an extraordinary expression, Brujo united all the optimal qualities that a rejoneo horse must have." quote from the Rancho el Rocio blog.
Enjoy the video below of Brujo in his prime. His wonderful body and agile moves. The video stirs emotion about so many things that make me love horses deeply, then the last scene makes me laugh. Audacity, indeed.
A Youtube video of Brujo in his prime.