It was a long winter, without bullfights, but aficionados are rejoicing that the 2006 Tijuana bullfight season will begin, anew, April 30. And, it promises to be a sell-out, for the card will be headlined by the internationally popular Julián López “El Juli”.
Due to the size of the crowd that is anticipated, the opening corrida will be held in Pepe López Hurtado’s “Beautiful Bullring by the Sea.”
Also on the card will be César Castañeda and Alejandro Amaya. The trio will face a sextet of bulls from Medina Ibarra. The action begins at 4 p.m.
Of course, many Southern California aficionados will be preparing to meet their friends from throughout the nation, during the annual convention of the National Association of Taurine Clubs (USA), which will be held during the Aguascalientes’ Feria de San Marcos, which begins April 16. The sponsoring club is Los Aficionados de Los Angeles.
It seems that the national brouhaha regarding the Mexican matadors’ union has come to a successful conclusion.
According to Jason Morgan, who published a post on the Mundo Taurino web site, a long conference was held, March 30, at the Juriquilla plaza de toros. Some 80 toreros attended. After toreando three becerros, the group retired to the patio, where they discussed the union situation, especially the threat that the empresario of La Plaza Mexico was prepared to form his own matadors union.
But, that situation has been overcome, according to union president Paco Gonzales and treasurer Oscar San Roman, who announced that the Mexican union has been accepted into the Congreso de Traba-jadores, the Mexican national workers’ union, which means that no other association of matadores can be established.
The group also agreed that the situation that had originally caused the disruption, the offering of a Plaza Mexico card that included one rejoneador, one Mexican matador, and two Spanish matadors did not comply with the 50/50 rule (equal number of Mexican and foreign matadores), for rejonea-dores are not included in that rule. Matadores Fandi and Finito remain under sanction.
This represents a giant step forward for Mexican bullfighting. There are nearly 300 members of the Mexican union, and fewer than 10 resigned, during the ugly affair.
The Spanish taurine ladder for the 2005 season has been released. Leading the pack was David Fandila “El Fandi”, having performed in 107 corridas de toros and winning 210 ears and 11 tails. Rivera Ordoñez was second, with 77 corridas, 83 ears, and one tail.
The remaining eight of the top 10 were as follows: Manuel Díaz “El Cordobes,” 65 corridas, 141 ears, and five tails; Sebastián Castella, 65 corridas, 62 ears and one tail; Jesulín de Ubrique, 62 corridas, 89 ears and two tails; Enrique Ponce, 62 corridas, 68 ears and one tail; Juan José Padilla, 62 corridas, 99 ears, and 13 tails; Julián López “El Juli,” 61 corridas, 67 ears and one tail; Manuel Jesús “El Cid”, 59 corridas, 57 ears, and one tail; and Antonio Ferrera, 56 corridas, 129 ears, and 17 tails.
Hasta luego, my friends. Again, this season, Gary Sloan will cover the Tijuana bullfight season, while Yours Truly covers everything else in Mexico and Spain.