The crew: picadors (I)


Who are the members of the crew that go on horseback? In the ‘paseíllo’, behind the ‘banderilleros’, go the picadors of each bullfighter; riding in pairs


The function of the picadors is to measure the animal’s bravery, as well as to measure its forces. With this they can get the bull to attack with the nose on the ground so that the bullfighter can fight better and longer during the last third.
Each crew has two picadores, one for each bull of the right-handed batch. While one, “the one of tanda or of turn”, it chops the bull, the other, called “picador de puerta”, remains placed on the opposite side of the ring, guarding the door.
The picador must be a brave, strong man, having a great knowledge of the art and an expert horse rider.

Their clothes

The picadors can wear the jacket adorned in gold, as well as the bullfighters. This is a privilege that recalls the times when its relevance was equal to or greater than that of the bullfighters. But sometimes they choose to wear black amber or white thread.

Sometimes they are called “those of the castoreño“, because of the hat they wear. Previously, they were made of beaver skin, so the name; although now they are made in other materials. It is topped with the ‘moña‘, which is a black felt kind of pineapple. And it’s fastened to the head with the ‘barboquejo‘, a wide black ribbon.

Under the pants, in the right leg they wear the ‘mona‘, a type of articulated iron armor that covers the leg and protects it of the possible horns and the strong attacks of the bull. In the left leg they wear a shorter one that is usually called ‘gregoriana‘ and protects from blows against the woods or crushing.


A picador in Las Ventas. Photo from Plaza 1.

Happy week, taurine people!

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