COURIER NEWS — by John Raines   

July 16th, 2011 - A popular American Restaurant chain proclaims July 8th to be National “Cow Appreciation Day”. What better day to have a “Tienta". Dancing in the Bull Ring with Livestock that are aged within 2 years old and weighing between 400 – 600 pounds. July 8th, 2011 found Bloodless Bullfighting Aficianados along with Matador Dennis Borba in the ring of an Elk Grove Ranch in California..

What’s a Tienta?

Defined as - "Fighting cattle born on specialized, wide-ranging ranches which are often havens for Spanish wildlife as the farming techniques used are extensive.It is raised by its mother until one year old, after which it is separated from the mother regardless of gender. When they reach two years or so, they are sent to the tienta, or “testing”.The males will establish if they are suitable for breeding or the bullfight. The females are more fully tested by a bullfighter with his capes, hence a bull's "courage" is often said to descend from his mother. If fit for bullfighting bulls will return to their peers. Cows passing the tienta will become mothers…”

What is Bloodless Bullfighting?

Traditional Bullfighting is said to have stemmed from the ancient Gladiator games of Rome and possibly even before. Greek Mythology includes Artemis Tauropolos the Bull Goddess. However, Bloodless Bullfighting is performed by a Matador (a) or Matador's apprentice (Practico/a /Torero/a Aficionado/a) as they engage in the motions of a dance (of sorts) with the Bull using a Capote and Muleta (Capes). NO piercing spears are used. It has been said that this form of Bullfighting is more difficult as the Bull or other Livestock stay strong and healthy throughout the entire match. A dance between human and beast by use of Capes while harmless to the animal.

Cynthia “Cindy” Morrison, 51, of Florida was one of Borba’s participants at the July 8th Tienta. During her childhood years Cindy was fascinated by the cape work techniques shown in a Hollywood movie “Blood and Sand” with Tyron Power. She travels to California for Borba’s Bullfighting School and events. Her first Tienta experience was in May of 2010 and when asked how she felt about finally challenging the galloping Bovine she replied “I’m in Love”. She describes how the Tineta was above her expectations and extremely rewarding to finally experience “caping” in the traditional Bullfighting style. “Maestro Borba is a true professional that holds concern for the well being of everyone involved in his events. I highly recommend his experienced guidance” She shared.

Part of Borba’s training teaches that Bullfighting doesn'tjust stop at the gate of the bullring but points out that practicing Aficionados should know the “subject” they are facing in the ring. How they should learn about Livestock behavior and traits.

After the first round of instruction with Borba in 2010 Morrison returned home to Florida where she joined the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and attended the organizations “Cattle College”. She continues taking random Cattle related classes offered by the University of Florida extension office and has also submitted a Proposal to her State representative to bring Bloodless Bullfighting to Florida.

Morrison is no stranger to California though. She traveled a number of times to Frazier Park, Calif. between 1997 – 2000 when she trained at the American Jousting Alliance academy there. The “Joust” is a competition between two riders wearing Armor on horseback armed with 10 foot solid wood Lance and a shield whilst charging each other head on with strikes. Jousting is best known for being performed in Medieval and Renaissance time periods. Morrison also made her way to Estes Park Colorado for the International Jousting Championships where she won the Women’s division Three times. Although she agrees that nothing can compare to facing off with raging thundering hooves of the bovine beasts while leading a dance with the Capes and living out a childhood dream.

Morrison is also in process of directing her latest short film in the Jupiter area titled "The Seven Steps". The short feature is based on a modern day Mortician with a fascination of ancient Egypt. The production will be submitted to film festivals.


Cynthia Morrison - Practica de Torera Aficionada at Campo Bravo Escalon