Living Dangerously in Provence

“The bull has escaped!”

I looked up to see a thousand pounds of anger barreling down the street at me. Everyone scattered, frantically jumping over the metal barriers to safety. The bull thundered past, followed by closely by French cowboys on horseback. It was a terrifying moment, the kind you remember all your life.

Read the rest of the story at Perfectly Provence.

6 thoughts on “Living Dangerously in Provence

  1. Thanks for sharing this article, Keith. The cowboy culture in Provence runs deep, in particular in the Bouches du Rhône. These working gardians (cowboys), their white horses, the black bulls and the traditions around the manades (ranches) and the arenas, Picasso captured in his works.

  2. Yes, it’s one of the things that makes the Bouches du Rhône distinctive. Even little villages have arenas for the course camarguaise. And I love seeing horses tied to a post in downtown Eygalières while their riders stop for lunch.

  3. I’m hoping when I am back in Provence I can go see a Course camarguaise. I went over 25 years ago and loved it. Your photos were great (as was the story). Love Val’s comment. What a riot!

    • It’s possible that the gadget on the razeteur’s hand could scratch the bull if it misses the horn but I’ve never seen blood drawn. The red on the pants is the paint from the fence around the arena. In jumping over and sitting on the fence during the match, the razeteurs often get some of the paint rubbed off onto their pants.

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