Padilla, on his goodbye tour around the bullrings, David Fandilla El Fandi and Roman Collado Roman. Weather: windy after showers but dry during the corrida.

Juan Jose Padilla (Jerez de la Frontera, 1973) cut his first ear as a novillero in 1989 when he was known as El Panaderito, The Little Baker Boy. He took his alternativa in Algeciras in 1994 with Pedro Castillo as his padrino and bulls from Benitez Cubero. The next year Carlos Escolar ‘Frascuelo’ confirmed him in Madrid with a bull from the Marquis of Albaserrada. As far as I know he never went out on shoulders in Las Ventas but did so once in Sevilla. In 2011 he was injured very seriously in Zaragoza losing his left eye. After a miraculous recovery he came back in March 2012 and is since known as El Pirata, due to the eye patch he wears in the bullring. Last year Fallas Padilla was again seriously injured by a bull from Fuente Ymbro. Recently he announced he will definitely retire at the end of the 2018 season. We will especially remember the fearless way he confronted his bulls and the courage he had when he returned to the bullring after his horrendous injury.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, every feria would have a special evening of toreros-bandrillereros who would share the glory, exchange banderillas, in general share the tercio de banderillas. I’m talking about the time Morenito de Maracay, Luis Francisco Espla and El Soro would share a cartel, sometimes Victor Mendes would take over. Before that Antonio Bienvenida of Paquirri were excellent banderillero toreros. They would share each others banderillas and glory and the public had a wonderful time as each allowed the other to show their own style of banderilear.

Juan Jose Padilla and David Fandila El Fandi are also banderillero-toreros but, it was chrystal clear in this evening’s corrida, are less friendly than their colleagues in times before.

We didn’t see any sharing, we didn’t see any companionship. What we did see were five, ice cold, mechanical tercios de banderillas and had it not been for an intense and marvellous performance by Roman, we would have gone home ice cold and couldn’t have blamed it on the meteorological circumstances. Padilla, as well as Fandi went through the motions without any emotion, a ‘let’s get it over and done with’-evening. Cold, uncaring, mechanical and arrogant. Less said the better.

On the other hand, Roman was a breath of fresh air. A young torero with an incredible understanding of bulls, a great talent of improvisation and a remarkable presence in the arena.

A valenciano who has developed enormously over the short period of his taurine career.

His faena had an exceptional  series of naturales, full of small personal touches. Roman still looks like a boy who is in the arena by chance, who still wonders at the amazing feats he pulls off, but don’t let that surprised look fool you. Roman Collado is Valencia’s star torero. The ear he was awarde after killing the bull Granado was fully justified.

Sadly the bull gored him in the armpit when he slid in the sword in a good estocada. The injury took him to the enfermeria and prevented him to return to torear the sixth bull. But it looks like we will see him again on the 19th.

The bulls from Jandilla were all black. Hechicero was the first and Mostero was the name of the sixth horned opponent. With a general weight of 535 kilos, they were not too strong but strong enough

to stay on their feet during the faenas.

Empacho, colorado, bragado, girón. Noble, bravo. By far the best novillo of the evening. A delightful faena with a novillero who recognized the quality of his opponent. A faena with excellent series of right handers and sweeping naturales executed with a very low muleta. A pinchazo and an estocada baja still got him the second ear and the Puerta Grande

 Cronica Pieter Hildering

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