May 31, 2002

Bullfight World
By Lyn Sherwood

Good Afternoons in Tijuana and Juarez

Big afternoons were recorded, last Sunday, in Tijuana and Juárez, with nine ears awarded in Juárez and four in Tijuana.

According to Bullfight World’s Tijuana correspondent, Gary Sloan, pleasant weather and a decent crowd turned out to see bulls from Pilar La Bastida faced by matadors José Maria Luevano, Maria Paz Vega, and Paco Gonzales.

With his first toro, the 485-kilo “Golondrino,” José Maria opened with smooth verónicas and a good media verónica. He then offered a fine faena, with good castigating muletazos, followed by work to both sides. After some trouble with the sword, the matador was applauded. He did nothing with the capote to his second bull, “Cardenal” (445 kilos), but he turned in an excellent faena, with long, slow derechazos and naturales. After a good, full sword, Luevano was granted a well deserved ear.

Paco Gonzales didn’t show much with his first bull. He demonstrated nothing with the capote and gave a rather weak faena. Applause. His second performance was just average. The bull was good, but the matador failed to take advantage of his opportunity. After a terrific sword, he was rewarded with a very generous pair of ears.

Matadora Maria Paz Vega had her best moments with her first bull, the 460-kilo “Paloma”, to which she gave good cape work, followed by a solid faena to both sides, especially on the left. She won a deserved ear. Her second bull broke a horn and was replaced, but she never connected with the substitute and had problems with the steel.

The next Tijuana corrida de toros will be June 9th, when Don José Julian Llaguno will offer a herd to Rafael Ortega, Leo-nardo Benitez, and Uriel Moreno “El Zapata.”

And, speaking of Leonardo Benitez, the Venezuelan enjoyed a fine day, Sunday, in Juárez, where he performed with Rafael Ortega and Federico Pizarro, facing bulls of San Martín. There was petition for the indulto for the last bull, but the plaza judge did not grant it, and the bull was granted a slow drag from the arena.

Rafael Ortega earned one ear from his first toro and a pair from his second. Benitez won a pair of ears from his first and a single ear from his second, while Federico Pizarro was awarded one from his first and both ears from his second. A solid afternoon.

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By the time that you read this, Eloy Cavazos will have made his final performance in Madrid, 27 years after his debut in that taurine capital. We’ll have news, next week, about his May 31st appointment in Las Ventas.

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Eloy Cavazos

It hasn’t been a memorable Feria de San Isidro. Cold weather and terrible bulls have been the story. To date, the one big afternoon was registered, last week, when Enrique Ponce won three ears and left on shoulders through the main gate.

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It is with deep regret that Bullfight World reports the death of the fine aficionado and renowned bullfight photographer Gene Mathews, who died, May 24, from the cancer that he had so valiantly fought for more than two years. QEPD!

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In a bloodless bullfight, celebrated May 10 in Tracy, California, bulls of Manuel Du Carmo, which were much too large to be presented without picadors, Rejoneador/Matador Dennis Borba, who had troubles with his first animal, but returned to register a huge triumph with his second, which in most Mexican bullrings would have earned ears and tail, according to correspondent Kate Leffler.

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In another bloodless afternoon, in Fred Renk’s Plaza Santa Maria, in South Texas, last Sunday, Raquel Martinez worked mano a mano with Enrique Delgado, with the latter being the triunfador, winning symbolic ears from his first bull.

The afternoon inaugurated the birth of the La Querencia bull ranch. Fred Renk has purchased a semental and a half dozen vacas, which he intends to breed for use in future years. This was the first season of bullfights in Plaza Santa Maria, which also serves as a training ground for aspiring amateur toreros. The first two graduates of the school received their diplomas, following 50 hours of instruction from Matadora Raquel Martinez.

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