November 17, 2000


Bullfight World...
by Lyn Sherwood

Tough Bulls and Some Good Work in Tijuana

A cold winter's day, a small crowd (1,500-2,000), was on hand for the final corrida of the 2000 temporada. Matadores Uriel Moreno, "El Zapata," Antonio Barrera, and Cesar Castañeda, faced a fine herd of bulls from Don José Julian Llaguno. The animals were well presented and mature, the largest weighting 575 kilos, the smallest 470 kilos, with an average weight of 520 kilos for the encierro.

El Zapata

Zapata's first bull, "Triun-fador," with 575 kilos, the largest of the herd, was a quasi manso dullard. After a nothing in the first act with the capote, Zapata placed three difficult pairs of banderillas. He delivered an even less than nothing faena. With all due respect to Uriel, he had nothing to work with at this point, so he went in for the kill and hit a great estocada. Applause for the kill but no awards.

His second animal, "Dos Mil," with 485 kilos, had a great entry, a great set of horns, and lots of energy. Zapata gave him a great set of Chicuelinas, followed by a beautiful one handed larga for the remate. He started the faena with a close péndulo, then he turned it up a notch and had a really good third act, dominating the bull with strong tandas on both sides. Bad luck with the sword, however, denied him any trophies, and he took a vuelta.

Cesar Castaneda

This popular Tijuanense, showed great maturity and improvement. With his first animal, "Valiente." at 540 kilos, his progress continued. After a couple of laps around the ring by the bull, Cesar stepped in and gave a set of good Chi-cuelinas, followed by a crisp rebolera, for the remate. After two strong pics. Cesar placed three pairs of banderillas with great style.

With the muleta, Cesar gave us a terrific faena, demonstrating great temple and dominio on both sides. The sword was low, almost bajonaso, but the crowd demanded the ear given, and rightly so. It was amazing the contrast between this performance, and the disaster that followed with his second toro, "Agradecero," 495 kilos, a savage, furious beast. After letting his peon run the animal with a few too many testing passes, Cesar stepped in and started a series of lances, and was disarmed and hit in the face. He was rattled. Evidently, "Agra-decero" had too much sentido for him to deal with.

After the bull was pic'ed to machaca, Cesar gave him no faena at all. He went straight for the killing sword. After three attempts and many boos, he succeeded. Once again, it was a shame to see Cesar's day go down the drain like that, and I must say this was a bull that only a very experienced figura could handle.

Antonio Barrera

With his first bull "Audaz," 470 kilos, Antonio didn't do much with the capote, but with the muleta, he saved the day, turning in a faena of grand proportions, investing himself completely with grand temple and domino on both sides, including five terrific pases en redondo. With the sword, he killed recibiendo, but the placement was slightly off the mark. After the first attempt with the descabello, he succeeded and was given an ear.

With his second bull, "Hasta Pronto," 560 kilos, once again disaster reared its ugly head. After a great set of Verónicas and a superb one-handed larga, the bull fell down, and continued to fall for the rest of the lídia. Halfway through the faena, if you could call if that, Barrera went to the fence to have a heated discussion with his manager, to convince the empresario into giving a gift bull.

When his apoderado couldn't do it, Antonio himself walked over to the empresa and asked for the toro de regalo. The answer was no. To his credit, Antonio still tried to deliver the best he could. When he went to the barrera to change swords, he threw his ayudado, disgustedly into the callejón. And so, after killing his animal, the formal season 2000 came to an end.

For the next article, I'll have a review of the entire season.

TORO TOPICS

Big news in Monterrey. Enrique Ponce and five others will perform Dec. 2, in a benefit for the Hospital Uni-versitario, en the Plaza Monumental Lorenzo Garza. The complete card is as follows: Giovanni Aloy, Eloy Cavazos, Jorge Gutierrez, Enrique Ponce, Enrique Espinoza "El Cuate," and José Daniel, facing six bulls of Vicky de La Mora. None of the toreros will be paid for their work.

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