July 8, 2005

Bullfight World
By Lyn Sherwood

An Afternoon of Details in El Toreo de Tijuana

According to Tijuana correspondent Gary Sloan, Sunday, July 3, in “El Toreo de Tijuana”, was a beautiful, albeit windy, day, in which matadores Eulalio López “El Zotoluco,” Rafael Ortega, and José Luis Angelino faced six bulls from “Begoña.”

“Zotoluco”

With his first animal, “Suceso,” at 475 kilos, López opened with some smooth, tight verónicas, finishing with a media verónica for the remate. After the pic’ing, his faena turned out to be the best of the day. Working very hard on both sides, he ran the hand long, totally dominating “Suceso.” A good sword and it was over. One ear was awarded.

With his second bull, the 500-kilo “Caval,” the condition of the animal was so poor, that nothing could be, or was accomplished. Nada. This bull should have been replaced.

Rafael Ortega

With his first toro, “Tras-cendente,” at 520 kilos, Rafael gave a so so first tercio. After the pic’ing, the bull quickly ran out of gas, but Ortega still managed a fair faena, with a couple of moments here and there. However, a poor kill denied him any awards. With his second bull, “Mensaje” (450 kilos), the best animal of the day, Rafa started with a faról de rodillas, against the fence, and had some good moments with the capote.

Ortega placed three pairs of banderillas, in grand fashion. He then followed with very good faena that wowed the crowd. A somewhat low, but very effective sword dispatched “Mensaje.” One ear, with a strong pettion for the second.

José Luis Angelino

With his first toro, “Reconocido” 510 kilos, Jose Luis, could do nothing with the capote, because, once again, the bull was very poor. He did place his own sticks, which brought the only applause for his lídia. A couple of attempts with the sword, and the descabello, and, thankfully, it was over. Applausos for his efforts.

With his second animal, “Clave,” a 520-kilo toro, it was even worse. It was a meandering performance that ended with disastrous work with the descabello, and the end came to, what was the worst corrida, in some time. It’s all about the bulls, and most of this encierro failed to provide many opportunities

Bullfight aficionados will be celebrating a big weekend, beginning Friday, July 10, in Plaza El Toreo de Tijuana. Not only are the toreros big time names, but the bulls are from first rate ranches. The whole affair will be in accord with the 116th anniversary of the city.

On Friday, beginning at 7 p.m., two rejoneadores and two matadores will be featured, facing bulls of Las Golondrinas. Gastón Santos Jr. and Eduardo Cuevas will compete from horseback, while César Castañeda and Juan Antonio Adame will perform in regular lídia.

Then, on Sunday, it will be a contest between experience and upcoming talent. Mexico’s most senior matador will compete with Mexico’s most promising newcomer. Beginning at 4 p.m., Rejoneador Gaston Santos Jr. will perform from horseback, while Eloy “The Little Giant” Cavazos and Alejandro Amaya will work from the ground, with seven bulls of Fernando de la Mora.

Tickets are available at the plaza. Advance reservations are available by calling (774) 681-7084. More information is available by e-mail at www@ticketmovil.com.mx

In Spain, all eyes are on Pamplona for the annual Feria de San Fermín (July 5-14), and the morning bull runs (encierros) down the street. Every Spanish feria has its own personality, and that of Pamplona is one of non-stop drinking, dancing, parades, music, daily bullfights, and of course, the bull runs.

In Madrid, last Sunday, Matadora Mari Paz Vega confirmed her alternativa. She was applauded for her first performance and afforded silence, following her lídia to her second animal.

A huge crowd of invited guests turned out, July 3, to Rancho La Querencia to help celebrate the 70th birthday of Empresario/Ganadero Fred Renk, in south Texas.

As part of the celebration, four novillos bravos, born on the Renk Ranch, were afforded formal tientas. Two of Renk’s four novillos were approved for assignment to bloodless bullfights, this upcoming winter season, in Plaza Santa Maria. Assisting in the tienta were Matadores Enrique Delgado, Longinos Mendoza, and David Renk, as well as several amateur toreros. David handled the pic’ing chores in the puerta cerrada affair.

But, apart from the tienta, the highlight of the day was a vaquilla that was presented for visiting amateur torera Kate Leffler, who performed exceptionally well with cape and muleta to an animal that had been raised on the Renk ranch and had been bottle-fed by Binker Renk, David’s brother. (Kate had been trained in the Renk taurine school.)

The animal, “Verónica,” was so outstandingly brave that every torero present, including Binker, gave it series after series of passes to both sides. The animal was in the ring for over an hour, was given more than 300 muletazos, and was still going strongly at the end. This is an animal that is destined to give birth to some exceptionally brave bulls.

In all, it was a great birthday party and a fitting tribute to Fred Renk, whose many years of contributions to the mundo taurino have been exemplary.

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