July 21, 2000
According to Bullfight World Correspondent Gary Sloan, last Sunday's corrida in Tijuana was "one of the worst that I've seen in my life."
The bulls of Sierra Viejo, which were announced at weights that seemed to far exceed their evidence in the sand, had plenty of sentido, but were generally brave and willing, although their matadores were unable to realize much of anything with them.
Heading the card was the very senior "El Pana," who accomplished little of note, either with cape, banderillas, or muleta. Horn-to-horn work was the extent of his efforts in the third acts, and he was soundly boo'ed for his lack of effort or even desire. The years, it seems, forgive nobody.
The first of the two Tijuana matadores on the card did little more than had El Pana. He placed banderillas in his typical, flamboyant style, and he did place an excellent sword to his first bull. But, aside from that, there was little to see, outside of his typical, crowd-pleasing Mayito routine. He received petition for an ear for his first bull, but was limited to a vuelta. Generally, he offered no domination, no plan, and no success, although his bulls were anxious to please.
The other Tijuana matador seemed totally confused by his bulls. Although he performed some nice Verónicas, and he placed the banderillas well, his faenas were hodgepodge of disconnected elements. He did manage one nice set of dere-chazos with his second bull, but he killed with a very low sword. There was petition for an ear, which Plaza Judge Jaime Gonzales correctly denied.
The next Tijuana corrida will be celebrated July 30 with the return of the season's only bright spot, the Spaniard, Antonio Barrera.
It has been a bloody season in Spain, especially during the months of June and early July. The worst injury was suffered by Juan Carlos Landrove, June 27, in Algeciras. It was rather ironic that he was gored while attempting to place the descabello. The bull raised its head and gored Landrove, twice. The horn produced two trajectories, one of 15 centimeters in the pelvis and another, of 25 centimeters in the stomach.
While entering to kill, novillero Julio Pedro Saavedra was gored in Sevilla's Plaza Maestranza, July 2, suffering a goring in the right leg, leaving three trajectories, two of 12 centimeters each and one of 15 centimeters. The saphenic artery was ruptured. Saavedra has had a rough time as a novillero; this was his eighth goring.
Also on July 2, during the feria of Soria, the popular Enrique Ponce was injured while performing a natural. Ponce suffered a back injury and a brain concussion.
Venezuelan Leonardo Benitez was injured while performing in Madrid. While entering to kill the fourth bull of the afternoon, he was caught and suffered a hard blow to the sexual organs and to the inside of the left leg.
Also injured were Antonio Ferrera, in Arles, France, and Jose Luis Goncalves in Villafranca de Xira. Ferrera was gored in the inside of the left leg.
In Zamora, the veteran matador Andrés Vázquez cut two ears. But, his second bull fractured the torero's clavicle, as well as leaving a goring of four centimeter in his left ankle.
The subalternos didn't fare much better in June and July. Manolo Gil, of the Miguel Abellán cuadrilla was caught by a bull in Teruel. Gil was at the mercy of the animal as he lay under the estribo, and was badly beaten up, but not gored. And, Juan Soriano, a banderillero for novillero El Quillas, received a grave goring June 10, in Daganzo, a small ring near Madrid. The goring, in the groin, measured 30 centimeters, but luckily did not penetrate the abdominal cavity.
While making his debut in Corpus, in his first novillada picada, Alberto Guzmán was gored in the first act. The horn left a wound of 20 centimeters in the torero's crotch, very near the femoral artery, producing great hemorrhage.
Likewise, matadors Luis Francisco Esplá and José Pacheco "El Califa" were injured during Madrid's San Isidro fair. El Califa suffered two gorings June 8. He returned to perform June 25 in Alicante, but was again injured, although he suffered no goring. Esplá injured his right shoulder.
Novillero Sebastián Castella, in Nimes, France, received a grave goring in the scrotum. Matador José Tomás was on the receiving end of a golpe in the mouth, causing the loses of several teeth. Victor de la Serna, on the day of his alternativa in Burgos, wasn't able to kill his second bull, after receiving a strong golpe to the left leg.
Novillero Morenito de Arles was not able to receive his alternativa, due to an injury by a cow on a ranch. Likewise, bull breeder Victorino Martín García was injured by one of his bulls at his ranch.
And finally, El Fandi, on the day of his alternativa, in Cieza, suffered a strong tossing, but was able to complete the afternoon and receive his doctorate of matadorship.
All of this injuries, including a couple that were life-endangering, probably caused members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to smile. The Spanish chapter of the international organization urged American and European tourists to boycott the running of the bulls in the annual Pamplona fair, as such represents cruelty. Meanwhile, attendance at the fair was at an all time high.
Bullfight World has a suggestion for PETA. To earn money for their anti-bullfight campaigns, offer a charity bullfight, with all profits slated to continue its campaign against bullfights.