12 images Created 31 Mar 2010
The Camargue is an area of coastal wetland in the Rhone delta, Provence, southern France, where the white Camargue horse has lived for centuries. The horses are kept by local cowboys (known as gardiens) who have developed their own unique culture. Bulls are reared for fighting in the arena at Arles and for meat. During festivals the bullring at Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer hosts coridas on horseback, a form of bullfighting that demonstrates the riders' horsemanship and control of the bull. A rejoneador, as the rider is known, differs from a picador in that he performs the bullfight, whereas a picador is an assistant to a matador. His horse, neither protected by body armour or blindfolded like a picador's, is agile and graceful, performing a remarkably adept merry dance around the clumsy charging beast. The rejoneadores use Lusitano horses and mostly come from Portugal or Spain. Much tourism to the Camargue has encouraged farms to offer horse riding as an additional means of generating income.