Sapi Sono is a traditional event feature trained pair of bulls to show beautiful moves. It was famous in the past buy today Karapan Sapi or Bull Race is more popular. Sapi Sono has unique characteristic. Bulls used in this contest are is female bulls as they are more familiar with farmers. They can plow sawah and their emotions can be explored.
Sapi sono features the soft emotion that winning or losing are not that significant. The lost one accept sincerely without envy. Therefore Sapi Sono is considered as symbol of manners. Animals of bulls can be tought to use their emotions, their heart. Bulls can follow rules, abide and dont pass over line, to lift legs together with their pairs, to dance and shake their body accompanied by Saronen. This show is very interesting, and rare, as a harmonious emotion connection between human and animal.
After harvest time, farmers need entertainment to kill time. So they used bulls as entertainment beside also enhance the quality of the livestock. As karapan sapi, Sapi Sono is done after harvest time.To get pair of sapi sono it takes perseverance, diligence and patience of the trainer. The owner of bulls usually treat the bulls like young kids. Sometimes owner’s treatment makes wife jealous.
The special treatment given to the female bulls since they are 1 month old. Sapi Sono cadet should have good and refine fur, beautiful horns, and nice posture. Everynight the bulls are kept from mosquitos, and before they sleep they are rubbed, massaged on their backs. Those were done to strengthen emotional connection with the bulls, to make them more sensitive and easier to follow the train. Their diets are special, they eat grass, rice and casava/ And to get good fur, owner gives them special herb made of cucurma, coconut water and coconut sugar. When they are 2 months old, they are trained. Firstly their legs are tied to stakes on a stage. On the drill the bulls are trained to lift legs alternately or together with the pair. They are also introduced to music played on tape recorder.
The training the proceeded to ground, the pair were guarded to encircle the ground accompanied by Saronen music. This training is undertaken for a year. When the bulls one or two years old they are already well trained, sensitive to music. When Saronen music is played they will dance.
Bulls have different talent as sapi sono, if they are genetically talented it takes relatively short time to make them mastering sapi sono move. The best sapi sono are from Waru, Pamekasan.
Sapi Sono contest is divided into two categories. The first category is contest and the second is match. In contest the score emphasized on the beauty of bulls, the move when they walk and accessories of the bulls. The contest is held to entertain audience and also to cheer the bulls’s owners, as in the contest they praise bulls beauty. The contest usually paraded the bulls accompanied by gamelan with sinden (singer). And in the contest all participants are rewarded.
And the match one is held to find a champion. The terms and conditions for the match are unwritten. The participants are categorized according their sizes. Pool A is for bulls with height 120 and more, Pool B for bulls with size 111 to 119 cm and Pool C for 111 and below.
The score depends on mistakes of the bulls during the match. The rating consideration includes: If the bulls step on line with one feet the score is mines 5 and if two feet on the line is minus 10. After passing finish line, if pagonong is awry the score is minus 10. Entering the finish line, bulls should step together, if their feet are not lifted first, score is minus 10 of they lift minus 5. There are 7 judges consists of 3 on the start line, 3 on the finish line and 1 timing judge.
3 Start judges bring red-blue-yello flag, they score emphasized on the bulls feet. They note every mistakes from start to finish line. AT finish line other 3 judges note the mistakes and how the bulls passing finish line. Timing judge note the time when bulls are on stage.
Just like Karapan Sapi, Sapi Sono firstly held in qualification, who wins and who loses. Winners will be contested with winners and and the lost ones with other lost bulls. There will be 6 winners. From winner catergory there will be 3 winners Champion, Runner Up and Second Runenr Up. Same with winner of the lost group.
Before the match, the bulls are paraded. Owners prepare the bulls by showering the bulls and then tight with pagonong as pair. Above the pagonong there are 2 or pancong decoraed with miniature of bird or horse and then worn necklace (gungseng) which creates clink sound. Then textile or sabek is worn over the bulls , this sabrek is decorated with golgen yarn. The horns are decoraed with some kind of cover made of white copper.