June 3, 2005

Bullfight World
By Lyn Sherwood

Newcomers Triumph in Tijuana Corrida

Beautiful weather welcomed the crowd to the second corrida de toros of the Tijuana season, May 29, in the downtown Plaza El Toreo. Jorge Gutierrez, José Luis Angelino, and Juan Antonio Adame met a fine herd of bulls from the Fernando de La Mora ranch.

According to Correspondent Gary Sloan, very senior sword Gutierrez opened the afternoon with the 535-kilo “Don Roberto,” a beautiful berrendo, to which he gave a couple of half-hearted veronicas and a media veronica. Following the first pic, Gutierrez offered a set of chicuelinas.

After an overthrow of the picador, Jorge performed chicuelinas antiguas. The matador’s faena was rather tentative. The bull did not seem compatible to Jorge’s style. After a couple of sword thrusts, Gutierrez was applauded.

With his second bull, Jorge did nothing with the cape, until nice set of gaoneras and a rebolera at the quite. His faena was far superior to his first action, as Gutierrez demonstrated excellent sets on both sides, especially on the left. It was a very good performance. After a well-placed sword, Gutierrez was awarded an ear.

The second matador, José Luis Angelino, met “Cazador”, a 460-kilo toro, with two kneeling largas cambiadas. His quite, after the first pic, was a nice set of chicuelinas. He then placed his own banderillas, in fine fashion. In the third act, Angelino was very good, showing a lot of style. Following a terrific sword thrust, José was awarded an ear.

With his second animal, “Cachanillo,” at 470 kilos, Angelino offered little with the capote, until after the pic’ing.

  He then did a great set of tapatías and received a strong ovation. He shared the placing of banderillas with Adame. Each placed a set in normal fashion.  Then, Angelino placed a pair of cortas al quiebro, in great style.

His faena was just terrific, as he ran the hand long and hard on the right. He also offered beautiful, liquid naturales and a couple of dosantinas. He missed the first sword, but buried the second. The bull was afforded a turn of the ring, and Angelino was awarded a pair of ears.

Juan Antonio Adame, a new face in Tijuana, was kind of weak with the capote to his first bull, “Guatito,” at 485 kilos, but he placed three good pairs of sticks.

The faena was quite scary, as Guatito was looking for Adame, the whole time, and almost caught him, on a couple of occasions. Following a good sword, Juan Antonio was granted a turn of the ring.

With his second animal, the 490-kilo “Chubeto,” Adame started with a couple of faroles de rodillas, then switched to chicuelinas, and a serpentina for the remate. After the pic’ing, he shared a pair of sticks with Angelino, and got hung up on the horns for a scary ride, but he was lucky, and no real damage was done.

The faena was very good, with Juan Antonio doing well on both sides. After a good sword placement, Adame received both ears.

It was, overall, a very good afternoon. The next corrida, July 10, is scheduled to be a mano a mano, between Eloy Cavazos and Alejandro Amaya.

Mario Carrion’s Homenaje Festival

Two great sword placements by Jim Verner, a great stand-in performance by

Mexican Matador Gerardo “El Giro” Rodriguez, and an excellent herd of young bulls from Gerardo Martinez, were the major highlights of a festival, presented on Memorial Day Sunday, in Reynosa’s plaza monumental bullring.

Aficionados Prácticos Alfredo Martinez, Jim Verner, Victor Campos, and Bruce Hutton were assigned to meet the Martinez bulls, in an afternoon that was dedicated to retired Matador Mario Carrión, who was celebrating his 50th anniversary of matadorship.

The animals, blacks and grays, provided outstanding opportunities, demonstrating bravery, nobility, and strength. They were a credit to the Martinez ranch.

Alfredo Martinez opened the afternoon with nicely done verónicas. His faena, which was concentrated exclusively on the right hand side—although left-handed work was possible—included dere-chazos, manoletinas, molinetes, chest passes and adornments.

The sword placement was low, but the performance resulted in the award of one ear.

Jim Verner opened his lídia with very good verónicas and a robolera. He initiated his faena with well-executed high passes, then offered several series of fine left-handed muletazos, difficult derechazos, and a variety of adornments. His sword placement, accomplished in grand style, recibiendo, was spectacular, and a well-deserved ear was awarded.

Victor Campos sadly demonstrated only that he doesn’t have enough experience to compete in a formal festival. His cape and muleta work were poor, losing ground with each attempt. He failed to aguantar and constantly brought the bull upon himself. He climaxed his efforts with an estocada atrevesada, followed by numerous other attempts. Long past the time when three avisos would have normally sounded, the animal finally died and Campos was afforded deserved silence.

Bruce Hutton opened his work with nice veronicas to the smallest, but one of the best, bulls of the day. But, with the muleta, although the San Diego aficionado práctico showed good effort and accomplished some decent derechazos, he failed to invest the aguante that the animal deserved.

Hutton quickly ran out of gas and was forced to turn the bull over to Gerardo Rodriguez “El Giro,” of Monterrey, who was able to realize the excellence of the animal, working exceptionally well on both sides, but especially on the left. The crowd strongly applauded him, as music punctuated his great artistry. Hutton returned, to kill, missing the first placement, then finally placing a genuine bajonazo. He received applause for his efforts, but it wasn’t a great day for Bruce Hutton. Jim Verner then faced the last bull of the day, turning in a performance that had highlights, but wasn’t up to the abilities that he has demonstrated in previous appearances, over so many years. His opening verónicas, and chicuelinas antiguas at the quite, were good, but showed that the animal had a short charge on the right, but opportunities on the left.

With the muleta, Verner offered a mixed bag that had moments of excellence, but failed to realize the potential of the animal. Once again, he killed in the receiving style and was warmly applauded by the small crowd.

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