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New Craze for Ring Fighters

Flying through the air these amazing bull leapers compete in the ultimate game of chance. Displaying flips, leaps and jumps these modern day Spanish 'Recortadores' continue a bull leaping tradition that goes back to the legendary King Minos from Crete's Minoan civilisation around 1500 BC.

Each year, bull fighting teams from all over Spain descend upon the Plaza de Toros stadium in Valencia to battle in this daring competition. Chilean photographer Mery Alin Nuñez captured this magnificent extravaganza during a trip to Valencia.

'It was an unbelievable display,' revealed the 25-year-old.

'As a spectator I was nervous not knowing what was going to happen and fearing the performers would be caught by a horn.

'The Rectadores call the bull, face them and then at just the right moment, jump over the animal as it charges towards them.

'The jumpers carry out all kind of different tricks and look really braves and courageous.

'Then suddenly, the tables are turned and the jumpers have to run for their lives to evade the angry bulls.

'There is a tense and expectant atmosphere in the air which makes this so exciting.'

Established in ancient bronze age Crete during the Minoan era, bull leaping is practised throughout Europe from France to Portugal. With as many as three bulls in the ring at any one time, each 'Recortadores' team - made up of between 5 and 7 members - go head-to-head in a dangerous and skilful performance which can last up to four hours.

Like the bull jumpers themselves, photographer Mery had to rely on reflexes and instinct to get these incredible images.

'To take pictures like this, especially action shots, you have to visualise the scene in your mind,' she said.

'There is a moment when your instinct tells you it's the right second to press the button.

'I watched the whole competition with the camera up to my eye, following the action all the time.

'What I like about these images is that they show the skill and strength of man and beast in one moment.'


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