The Day She became the First Woman Bullfighter on Horseback in France – Part 1

(Joel D.,  friend and  author here in Amour Toro, gave me the links to a temoignage written by Marie Sara, the first woman bullfighter on horseback in France. I am so impressed and fascinated by this story that I feel the need to translate it from French, to give as many people as possible the possibility to read it. The basic message has in fact nothing to do with bulls and bullfights. It is simply  a great lesson of courage and will, and the proof how dreams can become reality if we really want it. This is why I believe that it is a very important message for everybody!)

The Day when I became the First Woman Bullfighter on Horseback in France   – Part 1

I was born in Paris into a family of artists and intellectuals, my parents being actors and film directors. Needless to say then that nothing predisposed me to the life which would become mine.
As I was a child, we spent our holidays in the Camargue. Very quickly I fell in love with the South, the sun, the southerly way of life and culture. As I was 14, my parents took me for the first time to a bullfight on horseback in Méjanes, Camargue. This was for me a shock, a true revelation. I loved everything there, I was touched and amazed by the magnificent show I was attending. That day my passion and my vocation were born.

A passion which my parents had the intelligence and sensitivity to let me live: perhaps they thought that I was rebelling against what they were? Perhaps they thought that it would go away? I don’t know. What I know is that not only did they not stop me in any way but on the contrary always encouraged me to live my dreams. I want  to honour them for this here.

At that time -the late 70’s- only one woman had practised bullfight on horseback so far. And what a woman! Conchita Cintron – for it is her of whom I speak – was a legend, a legend  in the 50’s. They called her “The Blond Goddess”. She became an example for me.

As we went back to Paris, I  read, saw, heard everything. Yes, I  devoured everything related to this subject.

Then one day, my parents took me to the big Feria of Seville, one of the most prestigious arenas of the world. With us, a family friend, the well-known writer Jean Lacouture, aficionado (bullfight lover) himself and author of famous texts in Le Monde.

Jean Lacouture would take me under his wing and help me to meet the right people, the ones who would help me to enter this closed masculine world .

Thanks to him, I would, in particular, meet Simon Casas. I am 15 years old, he is twice as old. He is a French bullfighter, he knows many people in the profession. I tell him “I want to become a torero”. Simon and me will love each other and spend many years together. Thanks to him I will continue learning my profession.

At the age of 16 I decide to stop my studies and to leave Paris. As I said  before, my parents support me, they don’t impede me to go and even encourage me to live my passion.

I go and live in the South with Simon. We live poorly, it is not always easy, but I am happy with the man I love and in a daily life which makes me flourish  infinitely more than the Parisian school….

At that time Simon Casas starts a career as an impresario.

His address book becomes bigger and bigger with time passing by, a book which he will open to help me. This is how I went to Andalucia to a very big Bull  breeder, the “main man ” at this time: Alvaro Domecq….

(Next instalment on Sunday 11th of January 2009)

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thedailycrazy
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 18:54:55

    There is rarely a day when I do not become the first woman bullfighter on horseback in one country or another, I can’t think why you thought it was noteworthy! Or I would do if I wasn’t a man…

    I love the really random things people do like this. Good find! Sometimes reality is more crazy than my crazy ideas.

  2. Miki
    Jan 07, 2009 @ 10:30:04

    Hi Daily Crazy!
    Nice to see you here and thanks for your funny comment. I like it crazy myself…
    But did you know that fighting bulls on horseback is not as crazy as it sounds? It is in fact a very old profession, in Spain and Portugal (perhaps in Mexico too, I don’t know). It is another sort of bullfight, called “rejoneo”.
    And why not a woman, in fact… even if it sounds crazy, women are often seen on horses backs, aren’t they? Not such a big step then, I think, to have a bull partying too 🙂

  3. Joël
    Jan 07, 2009 @ 22:55:36

    Bonsoir Miki,
    Il est vrai que sa biographie met en valeur des qualités qui dépassent la tauromachie mais sans lesquelles Marie Sara n’aurait pu faire ce qu’elle a réussi : volonté, ténacité, courage. On oublie trop facilement que cette femme dont on dit “qu’elle a bien réussi dans la vie” (elle crée des vêtements et possède une boutique) n’a pas toujours connu l’aisance et la facilité. Il faut rendre aussi hommage à Simon Casas, homme très contreversé mais qui a su être une sorte de pygmalion pour cette jeune parisienne amoureuse des chevaux et des toros.

  4. Miki
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 12:33:56

    Bonjour Joël!
    Moi ce qui m’a fascinée le plus dans cette histoire (que je vais continuer traduire aujourd’hui), c’est l’attitude des parents. Tout simplement incroyable!

  5. Miki
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 16:10:35

    Au fait Joël, si un jour t’as l’envie et le temps de nous faire un peti billet sur Simon Casas… je ne sais rien de lui, mais ne serait ce que par l;article de Marie Sara, j;ai l’impression qu;il s’agit d’un personnage intéressant…

  6. Joël
    Jan 13, 2009 @ 20:18:56

    Promis ! je vais m’y atteler. Simon Casas est un personnage décrié mais charismatique : il fallait le voir dans les émissions télé défendre la tauromachie, un grand moment !

  7. Trackback: Tikujanka and The Bulls « Amour Toro
  8. action free flashgames
    Dec 29, 2013 @ 19:08:27

    This is a topic that’s near to my heart… Cheers! Where are your
    contact details though?

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