Details of a novillada

March 13, second novillada with pics. Novillos from El Freixo, who graze in the province of Badajoz. A ganaderia owned by Julian Lopez El Juli, with a recent bloodline of Garcigrande and Daniel Ruiz cattle. Divisa old gold and sky blue.
For the novilleros Antonio Catalán Palazón ‘Toñete’ (Madrid, 03.02.1997) who debuted with picadors in Zaragoza on April 23, 2016. 21-year-old Jorge Rico Olcina from Alicante and Marcos (Pérez) a novillero from the Cuenca school of tauromachy who gave up toreo for a while but returned to the bullring in 2017.
The sun was out, the sky was blue. Rain is expected tomorrow…

Prologue. I may have been a bit hasty. Jesus Chover, who went out on shoulders after yesterday’s novillada, should enjoy a long and rich career in bullfighting. To quote the 70-year-old matador Carlos Escolar Martin: “Retire? I will never retire, at least not voluntarily.” There is now a strong rumor that the injured Roman’s place on the 19th will be filled by Jesus Chover, to take his alternativa. And why not?

Prologue #2. Toñete was in ‘blood’ and gold or, as DCI Helen Jones would say: Claret and gold. Jorge Rico wore a white and silver suit and Marcos came out in bottle green and gold.

Expectation were high for this novillada. At the morning sorteo, the novillos looked big, fat and very well armed and I had my eye on a torito with number 23 branded on his flanks. A beautiful red brown animal. The diamond tips of his well curved, honey colored horns seemed to glisten in the sunlight. #23 (it turned out later in the evening) was called Panero and weighed a mere 465 kilos.

But, let’s start with the first novillo, Importante with 482 kilos on his bones. An impeccably presented red brown novillo from the fields of El Juli, noble and brave. However, as soon as the bull had been past the picador, Importante started to lose his initial strength and followed Toñete’s muleta only because his instinct told him to. It was the start of a deceptional evening.

Number two was called Nitido, a beautiful bravo negro mulato whose instincts told him to charge the muleta Jorge Rico offered him, but whose physical condition told him otherwise. The three- year-old novillo weighed 530 kilos and could have passed for a five-year-old bull. He was too big, too heavy and too soon out of breath. Rico killed him in a magnificent a recibiendo which means he called the bull towards him and stuck in the sword.

The third bull was called Noruego, Norwegian, but as soon as Marcos had welcomed him with his cape and passed him in a few chicuelinas, Noruego stumbled and dropped to his knees. However a great series of left hand passes – naturales – by Marcos should not go unmentioned.

#4, Panero, the bull I had put my money on came in next, but halfway through the faena he ran out of gas and, although he very much wanted to, couldn’t do what he was there to do.
A ‘pinchazo hondo’, also called a ‘media estocada’, also called a ‘lagartijera’ ended his life and he was hitched to the mules who pulled him out of the arena.

Favorito, bull number five was pic-ed three times! He then lost interest and ran away from everything that was put before him.

The last novillo, called Travieso, came into the ring while everyone had given up or had gone to catch an early metro or went to hold up a bar and drink away the sorrow and misery they had gone through. But Travieso saved the evening and Marcos appreciated his quality. Especially a wonderful series of muleta passes gave the crowd a new lease on life. The certain estocada gave Marcos the only ear of the evening.

What did we learn? We learnt that El Juli’s novillos were lovely to look at but were much too fat and deflated as soon as they were stuck with something, i.e. impossible to torear. We also learnt the escuelas today only teach their students how to execute a pretty chicuelina, a lovely gaonera

and more unnecessary stuff. What they don’t teach them is how ‘lidiar’ how to react when a bull doesn’t respond to artistically offered muletas, does not respond to fashionable manoletinas. Escuelas should teach its students how to lidiar a difficult bull, should teach them how to fight bulls! If they had, it would have been a much more enjoyable evening.

Cronica de Pieter Hildering

Fotografias de Mateo. Tauroimagenplus