World Famous Bullfighters Visit Turlock for Stevinson Bullfights

Courtesy of Mario Alvarez

The Stevinson Arena, “Plaza de los Toros,” is hosting an epic “California” style bloodless bullfight on Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. featuring world famous cavalieros (bullfighters on horseback) Tiago Cacceiras and Sario Cabral, and matadores Cesar Castaneda and Diego Santos.

Pre-event tickets can be purchased for $20 and $25 at the door. Reservations are available until Aug. 7 and can be made by calling 209-603-9380.

Recently Castaneda, of Mexico, one of the most well-known bullfighters in the world, stopped in to Turlock Poker Room & Casino for a visit and snapped a picture with TPR Operations Manager Jeff Muller.

TPR Director of Casino Relations Mario Alvarez said he grew up attending bullfights at the Stevinson Arena and that the Turlock area, adding that the Central Valley has a long history of California bullfighting, beginning with Escalon’s legendary Dennis C. Borba. Borba was a pioneer in introducing the sport locally and has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and was hired as a consultant for a music for The White Stripes and film “Jackass Number Two.”

Many of the California bullfighting practices stem from Portuguese and Azorean traditions such as Forcados.

California bullfighting uses a Velcro patch on its shoulders and Velcro-tipped spears to imitate the historically bloody sport without causing bulls any wounds. Also the bull’s horns are rounded and covered in leather to prevent puncture injuries to the bullfighters.

The Stevinson event will feature eight bulls taking on the world famous bullfighters, along with two groups of Forcados, Aposento de Turlock and Amadores de Merced.

Forcados are essentially teams of eight bullfighters dressed in traditional costume who challenge a bull with their bare hands. They form a line facing the bull with the front bullfighter playing with or annoying the bull in order to get the bull to charge. Once the bull runs towards the Forcados they attempt to subdue the bull by collectively climbing on the bull. 

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