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The bullfighting “tercio de varas” (third of rods). Explanation

Explanation of "la suerte de varas" What is it and what is it used for? It is without doubt the most complex luck to explain and to understand. It is a fight without air, an encirclement of strength and caste whose aim is to demonstrate the bravery of the animal.
Explicación el tercio de varas

Varas. Nobility and brutality

Ancient luck this kind of sticks. Spatially violent always. Bloody in its antiquity due to the high number of dead horses in the bullring and abrupt nowadays due to the roughness of the encounter between the bull and the horse-chopper.  



A picador with golden ranges because he was the main protagonist of the fight during the eighteenth century and the dawn of the nineteenth century.


And declaration of principles:


The horse must be of good handling, without bad habits, of high mark, of good mouth, strong of haunches, old better than young and that it obeys the hand of the picador


The picador must be courageous, with a robust physique, an accomplished rider and a perfect knowledge of the art of bullfighting


And it must be done, by Pepe Hillo:


The picador has to be placed in the rectitude of the land that the bull occupies and after this part and reaches the jurisdiction, he puts his pole on the neck and at the same time the horse opens to the left and, charging on the bull , dismisses him by the face of said horse or in parallel line with him“. 



el picador, plaza de toros de españa
El picador, plaza de toros. España

El tercio de Varas

It is a third overly dependent on the quality of the bull in terms of aesthetics as the picador-horse forms a one-eyed, boring and slow mountain that differs too much from the bullfighting aesthetics that surrounds it in the bullring. If it were not for a bull of race and nobility we would be talking about a luck turned into a mere procedure. The latter is very difficult, since the luck of the rods is an indispensable act for the demonstration of bravery and quality of the beef to be fought.


The space set for the luck of rods respects the means and is made behind the rings. The spatial relationship between bull and horse-picador is severely shortened in search of the rough encounter. A space dedicated to the encounter is destroyed. The air discarded by the animal is experienced as strong and leaden. The encounter reproduces a dull sound followed by the bridles with their metallic sounds and the bull’s snorts in full rush. When the bull is already rocking on the horse, space has been destroyed and has given way to a fight without air, to a confinement of strength and caste whose purpose is to demonstrate the animal’s bravery.


It is ”La suerte de varas” a spatially rough and violent luck that has little to do with the old bullfighting. Far is the third of rods a space ready for impact without more purpose because it is a luck of great importance for the future of the fight and one of the most difficult luck to understand in its necessary essence.




Gonzalo ortigosa yoldi


Gonzalo Ortigosa Yoldi
Cultural Manager

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Last modified: 25 February, 2024
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