Photographer has captured the art of bloodless Texas bullfighting for over a decade
Since 2008, photographer Katie Hayes Luke has traveled to South Texas to document a bloodless bullfight at a ranch called La Querencia. It is illegal to kill the bull in the United States, so the bullfighters end the fight by grabbing a flower from the back of the bull to symbolize a clean kill. Arena owner Fred Renk, an 83-year-old former amateur bullfighter, has recruited young aspiring bullfighters from Mexico. Each season, young novilla women stole the show in their quest to become one of the few matadoras. One of them is Karla Santoyo from Aguascalientes, Mexico, who followed in her father’s footsteps by becoming a bullfighter at the age of 19. Fred retired in 2020 and his grandson was planning to take over, but there were no events during the pandemic.
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