November 3, 2000
by Lyn Sherwood
A very slight crowd, of about seven, or eight hundred spectators, was on hand to witness the 14th corrida of the 2000 temporada, with Javier Bernarldo, Victor Santos, and Enrique Espinosa "El Cuate," facing a herd of bulls from the ranch of Manuel Macias. The toros, with the exception of two, were well presented and brave.
Javier, who was a regular Tijuana attraction, back in the mid "eighties," hadn't appeared in Tijuana, since 1989. With his first bull "Don Roberto," at 450 kilos, he did nothing with the capote. His faena, was very light, as the bull was too worn down from the picador. After two swords and four attempts with the descabello, "Don Roberto" died. Division of opinions.
With his second animal "Hidalguense," with 475 kilos, he opened with a fine set of Verónicas, finishing with a fine media Verónica. After three strong pics, he proceeded to deliver a good faena. Dominating his bull on both sides with good temple. A good sword, and one ear was awarded.
A new torero to the Tijuana scene, I had never heard of him, and after this performance, now I know why. With his first toro, "Miel de Penca," he did nothing with the capote. After the picadors, he placed his own banderillas. The first pair was in a normal fashion. The second pair, he attempted to place largas al quiebro, and was caught, pummeled, and received a slight puntazo in the left leg. He was clearly terrified of the animal from that point on, and didn't go anywhere near the bull. After a sword that was bajonaso the bull died.
With his second bull "Voy y Venga," 465 kilos, it was the same story. Nada with the capote, a lousy faena but a good sword.
This was the second appearance by Enrique this year, and again he delivered the goods. His first toro "Guanajoense," 445 kilos, was good for him with the capote. In the faena, he did well, and after a good sword, he cut an ear. With his second bull, "Papa Merendo," the best of the day, he was great. Strong on both sides, with lots of great temple. He triumphed. A great sword, and both ears were cut.
The next corrida will be the 12th of November, featuring "El Zapata," Antonio Barrera, "El Cachorro" and Cesar Castañeda. Be there!
The first convention of La Asociación Internacional de Aficionados Taurinos was held over the Oct. 28-29 weekend, in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, and was a grand success. It was truly an international affair, with toreros coming from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and as far away as Great Britain.
On Saturday, the debutantes faced some spirited vaquillas and all did well, with no tossings, but lots of fun. That evening, the convention was hosted by Charles Nixon at his El Matador Lounge, in Mc-Allen, Texas.
Then, on Sunday, novillos from Don Rafael Mendoza, ranging from 290 to about 379 kilos were faced by Pepe Luis Vásquez and David Renk, retired matadores who performed in competition and did very well, although Renk, in spite of an excellent faena, took a terrible pounding from his bull, but was awarded an ear.
Pepe Luis Vásquez, 82, did some delightful work with cape and muleta, killed on the first sword--what else from the greatest swordsman in Mexican bullfight history?--and received a warm turn of the ring, as several hundred spectators applauded him.
Next, came the aficionados prácticos. Leading off was Bruce Hutton, who shared his bull with Matadora Raquel Martinez. He killed, receiving and the animal dropped, immediately. One ear was awarded.
Next came Jim Verner, of London, who did exceptionally well with a rather difficult novillo, dominating and showing great class. He killed on the first sword and was awarded an ear.
David Moss, Hollywood talent agent and former novillero, received the largest animal of the evening and opened with some outstanding Verónicas. Although he took a violent pummeling from the animal, he showed some excellent work, but had difficulties with the sword and took a vuelta.
Mario Orlando Garcia, of San Francisco, demonstrated that he may be one of the top aficionados prácticos on the circuit. He turned in an excellent performance with cape and muleta and won an ear.
Later that evening, at the Tupinamba Restaurant, more than 100 aficionados turned out for the awards banquet. The trophy for the best cape work went to David Moss. The best sword placement trophy was won by Bruce Hutton. The trophy for the best faena went to Mario Orlando Garcia, while Jim Verner won the top prize as Gran Triunfador.
In addressing the group, Association President Ed Cohn, of Walnut Creek, pronounced the convention a "great success" and promised that it was the first of what will be an annual event.
Thus, a tiring, but enthusiastic convention weekend came to a close.