President of the La Cocarde bullfighting club, Sylvette Farneti carries within her a passion transmitted by her father Félix Desferre, himself president of this club from 1958 to 1983.
It is no coincidence that Sylvette Farneti, née Desferre, has been president of the La Cocarde bullfighting club since 2014. It is a club that has rocked her from birth. “Ma Mother would take me to the theaters on Place de la République, where the bious were run, and during the intermission, she would have me breastfeed at the hairdresser near the Friends bar! In my family everyone went to the bulls.”
A heart club, La Cocarde
Félix, his father, and Paul, his uncle, born twins in 1914, have always loved the bouvine. Absent for eight years, first to do their military service, then a year of war and then five years prisoners, they returned in 1945, determined to take control of their lives and reconnect with their passion for bullfighting.
The year which followed their return from captivity, which is also the year of Sylvette’s birth, they both joined the La Cocarde bullfighting club which had been created in 1913 by MM. Canonge and Coulet. Félix assumed the presidency of this club in 1958 and for twenty-five years.
A solid Camargue culture
At that time, these bullfighting associations only counted men, inviting women and children only for a few small meals, king cakes or lotto.
Before leaving his post in 1983 and giving way to Jean-Maurice Martin, Félix changed the statutes and allowed women to return to La Cocarde. This is how Sylvette, her mother, her aunts and many others experienced a (r) evolution which today offers a well-balanced mix: “In 83 I was the youngest in the club !”
As a child, it was in Lunel and sometimes in Marsillargues that Sylvette followed the races with her parents, who did not yet have any means of locomotion. Once married to Éric Farneti, the acquisition of a vehicle made it possible to widen the bullfighting perimeter: “There weren’t all these little arenas like today, we went to the big ones, in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, in Châteaurenard… We had a picnic or we went to a restaurant. The whole family followed, my parents, my sister-in-law, my brother. It was family travel“.
“At La Cocarde, we decide collegially”
This is how Sylvette was able to follow the careers of great bulls like Goya and also great raseteurs like Castro and build a solid Camargue culture which leads her to pass on her passion in turn to CM2 students during pedagogical days. .
In the club, worthy daughter of her father, Sylvette put her foot down: “All the presidents of bullfighting clubs note the bulls during the race, but at La Cocarde, we decide collegially : there are several of us filling in a scoring grid and after the race, we discuss it.“
Like her parents in the past, Sylvette does not miss a race in the arenas of Lunel and some might notice, to the left of the presidency, the many members of a club dear to her heart. One regret, however, neither her daughter nor her nephews will follow the marked path: “This family tradition will end after me.”