October 18, 2002

Bullfight World

Big Triumph For Pablo Hermoso in Tijuana!

By: Lyn Sherwood

With the seasons winding down in Spain and the Mexican frontiers, it’s the best of all worlds for aficionados of the Tijuana corridas. Many of the top ranking Spaniards have completed their Spanish tours, and are getting set to perform in South America and the Mexican interiors, which allows us to see such masters as Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza do their thing.

Take, for example, the big triumph of Pablo Hermoso, last Sunday, as seen through the eyes of correspondent Gary Sloan.

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You know, there was a time when I didn’t even like rejoneo. But, last Sunday in Plaza Monumental de Tijuana, a rather chilly, overcast day, I and about 17,000 other fans were treated to an afternoon that made rejoneo fans of all of us.

Fernando Ochoa and Fermin Spinola, faced toros from Pilar La Bastida, while two bulls from Jorge Hernandez Andres were earmarked for Mendoza.

Fernando Ochoa

With his first animal “Talisman,” at 475 kilos, Ochoa demonstrated a couple of verónicas, and finished with a nice rebolera. The bull was brave to the horse. Ochoa allowed Spinola a quite, and he did a series of chicuelinas that were the best thing he did, while I was there. With the muleta, Fernando had a good solid faena on both sides. A tremendous sword and the toro died patas arriba, but no trophies, just a strong ovation.

With his second bull, “Triunfador” (500 kilos), the stage was set. Great capote work. beautiful verónicas, a sensational set of largas for the remate, and he was rewarded with music. This toro was strong against the horse, as well. As for the faena, once again,

Ochoa demonstrated why he is, in my opinion, the best young torero in Mexico. He was simply superb. His timing, distances in citing, his wrist control, it was all there. With parar, mandar, y templar, he did it all. The naturales were the best we have seen all year. Tremendous ‘olés.’ One pinchazo, one full sword that was very effective and an ear was awarded.

Pablo Hermosa de Mendoza

There’s really not enough memory on my computer, to properly describe his performance. Both of the bulls from Jorge Hernandez Andres were brave, and he was simply, sensational. The best for me was on his second bull, after placing a single banderilla astride “Chicuelo,” they spun, in what I call a “Chicuelina de Caballos,” then he placed another banderilla, and then did two more 360s, consecutively. Then he placed another banderilla, and did three more, bang, bang, bang, right in a row. It brought the house down, thunderous ovations. A rabo on his second bull, and an ear on his first. If you haven’t seen this guy, don’t miss him. This kind of living art will not last forever.

Fermin Spinola

This young man needs lots more experience; he was way over his head on his first bull, one of those really scary performances where he thought he was doing pretty good, but actually was on the verge of disaster the whole time, and didn’t know it. He received nothing for his first animal, and I didn’t stay for his second. Maybe with time he’ll improve, and maybe, after I left, he had a great performance on his second bull, but I doubt it.

Once again the empresa, Pepe López Hurtado, has given us a great corrida, I hope they continue in this direction.

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TORO TOPICS

Jesús Millán has been declared the most triumphant matador during the Feria del Pilar, in Zaragoza, Spain. Millán, in competition with another Aragonese, “Paulita,” won the XI Trofeo del Ayuntamiento, the maximum award.

The award for the best bull of the feria was left vacant, for none was worthy of consideration.

Paulita and Millán were the only two matadores to leave on shoulders through the main gate. Paulita won accolades for the best cape artist.

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Spanish novillero Arturo Macías, who nearly died after suffering the rupture of the femoral artery, a Sunday ago, in La Plaza Mexico, has been pronounced out of danger.

During the Spanish season, the promising young star performed in 33 novilladas, cutting 40 ears and two tails.

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The Spanish season is all but completed, and it appears that El Juli is #1 in number of corridas fought (112). In second place is Finito with 102 corridas, and El Cordobés is in third place. But, Finito cut the greatest number of ears in the season, 186.

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