Karapan Sapi, is Madura’s annual traditional event, it is such a bull racing tournament. It is usually held at week end within August to September, or ideally before or after the fasting month. Date back to the early begin, Karapan Sapi was exist before 15 Century. The championship is starts from the district level to the regency level and moving forward to the level Residence. Last, the final will be held on September or October in the city of Pamekasan to compete for President Cup.
Karapan Sapi is such a prestigious event for Madurese people, for the bull’s owner will feel socially uplifted when their bulls can be a champion. This event is becomes an outstanding-event-party for Madurese, it needs more energy, more beneficial times and, of course, more money to spend. Regarding this event, the bull is becomes an investment out of gold and money. Thus, the owner will more concern to make their bull winning in this race.
At this race, the bull will race in pair. There is also a standing wooden cart that put in those bull’s back, a place for the jockey to ride away the bull and controlling their speed, named Keleles. The race track are typically about 100 meters long and it takes about ten to fifteen seconds to pass. Before racing the bull, before the race, each team will show up their bulls in parade accompanied by Madura’s traditional instrument named Saronen.
Looking at the background, bull is not an animal type for racing activities for are not classified as fast runner animals. But this can be solved by training the bull twice or three times a week, not more than that. The exercise is held around 3pm before dawn.
It is said that a pair of healthy and strong bulls will cost Rp. 4 millions per pair for their food and other maintenance. Moreover, they are also consuming some traditional herb and dozens of chicken eggs per days.
To make the bulls running as fast as they can, the tail are tied with nails and it was also given the chili and ginger. The jockey’s whip is also added by nails. It seems sadistic here, but that is the way, the culture. The more they get hurt, the more of the bull will run faster. God bless the cows.