Controversial photographs have captured the moment a female bullfighter holds up the ears she chopped off the bull which almost gored her to death minutes earlier.
During the bullfight, matador Lea Vicens, 30, fell from her horse as the bull charged straight at her during the Feria de Nimes — an annual festival in the southern French city of Nimes.
The enraged animal then when after Vicens, doing his best to gore her with his horns, as the crowd fell silent with horror. In the event, the French matador managed to avoid serious injury. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Matador Lea Vicens, 30, holds up the ears of a bull to the delight of the crowd at the Feria de Nimes festival in southern France.
Moments later and back on her feet, the matador chopped the bull’s ears off and held them up high as trophies in front of the thousands of ecstatic fans packed inside the arena, completely unperturbed by the blood dripping down her hands.
It is a ritual to cut off a bull’s ears and tail after bullfights, as a trophy to the matador.
Following the bull’s death, the Presidente — the person running the show — decides whether the matador has earned the right to take home an ear and evidently Vicens had won it.
2. The bullfighter is thrown from her horse as the bull closes in, readying himself to gore the French woman.
If the matador puts on an especially good spectacle, he or she can take home both of the bull’s ears and even the animal’s tail.
In the event, Vicens took a total of three ears, whereas her fighting partner Diego Ventura won four ears and a tail.
Presumably, the goring episode weighed negatively against the female fighter when her award was being calculated.
3. The bull picks his moment to charge as Vicens falls to ground, with women gasping in the crowd behind her.
4. The bull drives horns into Vicens, who escaped without serious injury and was later given the bull’s ears as a trophy.
The five-day festivities in Nimes, Vicens’ birth town, feature bullfights twice a day, with revelers celebrating in bars and nightclubs after the fights.
Vicens has built a reputation for her energetic and exciting performances and fans are eagerly paying up to Γé¼104 ($114) for a seat at the arena during her fights.
In 2012, Vicens was widely praised in France for chopping 60 ears and 10 tails off vanquished bulls.
5. The French town of Nimes has seen a week of bullfighting.
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