May 13, 2005

Bullfight World
By Lyn Sherwood

Another Bloodless Bullfight Triumph in San Antonio, Texas

Mexican Matador Enrique Delgado registered a triumph, while Longinos Mendoza “The Bullfighting Banker” was injured, and Novillera Marbella Romero came up far short of expectations, last Sunday, in a bloodless bullfight, celebrated in San Antonio, Texas.

It was the second year in a row that the Lyric Opera of San Antonio had contracted Renk Productions to present a bloodless bullfight, as part of its annual fund-raising charity fiesta. And, if the attendance was a measure of the popularity of the event, it won’t be the last time. A near capacity crowd filed into the stands of the colorful lienzo charro plaza.

The four bulls of the Don Rafael Mendoza ranch, weighing from 360-400 kilos, offered a variety of problems. The first was very defensive and difficult, while the second was a manso perdido that was impossible to torear. The other two were lidiable, but one, the largest of the group, allowed Enrique Delgado to earn a well deserved pair of ears.

During the afternoon, Matador Longinos Mendoza suffered three violent tossings. In one of them, the bull stepped on Mendoza’s right hand, crushing it. At the close of the afternoon, the matador was rushed to the hospital, where X-rays determined the extent of the injury. He was rushed to Houston, where, the following morning, surgery was performed on Mendoza’s hand.


With the first bull of the afternoon, Delgado worked hard, but it was a non-triumphant, ni pena, ni gloria effort, for which the Matador from Monterrey was warmly applauded.

But, his second, the largest of the afternoon, was strong and brave, and Delgado jumped all over it. Opening with veronicas Sevillanas, followed by veronicas Rondeñas, Delgado caused the stands to erupt in constant applause, while music rewarded his efforts.

Then, in the faena, Delgado offered a faena of right- and left-handed muletazos, spiced with molinetes and a variety of other passes and desplantes that kept the crowd cheering in a continuing frenzy. His symbolic kill was perfect, as he went over the horns and grasped the paper rose that had been attached to the bull’s shoulders. Plaza Judge John Compere (a retired U.S. Army Brigadier General) measured the audience petition and awarded Delgado a pair of symbolic ears, which were presented by Fred Renk.


In reviewing the performance of Marbella Romero, of Morelia, Michoacan, one must first offer her the benefit of doubt, for it was her first appearance in a bloodless bullfight. She is intelligent, well-spoken, and passionate about La Fiesta. Nevertheless, in light of her 109 novilladas, and the fact that she had fought twice, this season, in La Plaza Mexico, winning the Oreja de Plata in one of them, her efforts came up far short of expectations.

Her first bull was the aforementioned manso perdido that took a querencia next to the boards and refused to offer an honest attack. Marbella did her best, but there was nothing that could be done with the cowardly animal. She entered to kill, missed the flower, and then decided to throw in the towel. Applause and a vuelta.

Her second animal offered a great opportunity, but the novillera seemed incapable of realizing a triumph. With cape and muleta, she failed to aguantar, and as a result, was in constant trouble, suffering a violent tossing. She failed to invest the kind of effort that could have resulted in triumph, and allowed the other toreros to do the work that was rightly hers. It was then that she seemed to just give up and didn’t even attempt to kill. Nevertheless, the crowd awarded her a very generous, undeserved ear. In all, it was a disappointing afternoon for Marbella Romero.

At the end of the day, all of the toreros, including Longinos Mendoza, novillero Alfredo Martinez, and aficionado practico Jim White, took a triumphant turn of the ring, while the crowd offered warm applause.

Shortly thereafter, an announcement was made for a doctor to attend Longinos Mendoza.

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