Categoría: the bulls in English

Another pleasant October evening in Valencia

Another pleasant October evening in Valencia Wednesday 9 October. Novillada picada. Six novillos from former matador José Luis Iniesta – alternativa in May 1998, Madrid, Las Ventas – well presented with an average weight of 450 kilo’s. The first three (including the substitute) extremely weak and falling over at every occasion. Novilleros: Fernando Plaza, new in this arena in a brick red suit and gold with white trimmings, José Fernando Molina from Albacete in dámasogonzález and gold and local novillero Miguel Senent Miguelito, who wore grana and gold. A lovely summer climate in October and two hours and forty minutes of interesting spectacle. Forget about Agualimpia, a nice little black bull who opened the ball. He was not too strong, had a shaven right horn and stumbled through his performance. Fernando Plaza could do nothing but one short series of right hand passes. Number two, Azucarero made it clear from the moment it entered the arena, he didn’t want to be there and very happily followed the oxen when they came to fetch him after a green flag from the president. Novillo 2B, called Estornino, went to the cape well but fell over twice after the picador’s pics. Molina tried, but his faena was very much affected by the weakness of the novillo. The novillada started with bull #3, Joyero, who reacted well to the cape, took two pics and...

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A summer novillada in October

A summer novillada in October Sunday October 6, Valencia’s plaza de toros, the first of four regional novilladas sin picadores organized by the Valencian School of Tauromachy. (Followed by Utiel, Chelva and Bocairent.) Seven erales supplied by the by now regular bull supplier to the Escuela, Antonio López Gibaja. Noble and brave little two-year-olds although some showed weakness in the front legs. For: Lucas Miñana – instead of David Lopez from Colmenar – (in black and silver), Mario Arruza (grana y oro), Borja Escudero (rioja and jet black), Juan Marin ( grana y oro), Javier Camps (black and gold), Eric Oliveira (grana y oro) and Julian Garibay – replacing the French novillera Anaïs – in a black suit with white embroidery. The plaza only half full, but a lovely midsummer evening in October. Miguelete. An easy novillo for Lucas Miñana, noble but weak. A porta gayola to receive the novillo and banderillas by the novillero, the last pair cut in half for effect. All placed in the rib cage. During the faena Miñana gave us some passes on both sides but the bull had too little strength to compete. A pinchazo and an estocada tendida got the bull down. An aviso sounded and I counted five fluttering handkerchiefs. Pidetodo for Mario Arruza. The last bullfighter of that surname I saw was in 1977 when Manolo replaced El Viti. Whether...

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It could have been

It could have been It could have been a novillada to remember on May 11, 2019. The animals from Montealto looked fine in the enchiqueramiento. Perhaps a bit too heavy, with heads that would not have looked odd on a four year old bull but in general, we left the corrales satisfied with the result of the sorteo. At six thirty the three novilleros of the evening lined up and started their march across the sand. Coming towards me on their way to salute the president were Adrien Salenc, a 22-year old Frenchman from Nimes in a fire engine-red suit with gold trimmings who made his debut three years ago. On the left went Marcos Pérez Hernández, a novillero born in Madrid in 1995 and who calls himself ‘Marcos’. The color of his suit was a pale blue with silver. In between the two and dressed in a cyclamen colored suit trimmed with gold, came the young Valencian Borja Collado, the triunfador of the novilladas in this year’s Fallas feria and the obvious star of the evening. It could have been a novillada to remember, the weather was soft like an early summer evening and the arena was pleasantly filled to half of its capacity. Maybe if I had taken my notebook. But I forgot and I can’t remember much of this novillada. I remember the first two novillos,...

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The tragic story of Tragabuches

The tragic story of Tragabuches – The year is 1790. In Arcos de la Frontera lives a young gypsy. He is ten years old, his name is José Ulloa Navarro but he is better known as Tragabuches. The boy wants to be a bullfighter and leaves his hometown to travel to Ronda where he joins the famous bullfighting school of Pedro Romero. Romero recognizes his great talent but hates gypsies and therefore recommends him to his brother José. – The first story tells us of a contract that Gaspár Romero, a banderillero in the cuadrilla of his brother Pedro, has signed with the plaza de toros of Salamanca. Gaspár asks Tragabuches to accompany him with the prospect that, in the arena of the ancient university town, he will promote him to matador de toros. – After a long journey the Romero brothers, their father Juan and their entourage finally arrive at the arena. The people are in an uproar. The famous Romeros are in town! Imagine: the best matadors of the country have come to Salamanca! For the occasion twelve specially picked bulls await them in the stables at the back of the arena. It promises to be an exciting evening! – A trumpet announces the start of the procesion and the group solemnly moves across the sand. When the first bull is in the ring Gaspár hands José...

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Wednesday 19 March 1986,

Wednesday 19 March 1986, Plaza de toros Valencia. Five Montavo bulls and one substitute from María del Cármen Camacho for José María ‘Manzanares’, Luis Francisco Esplá and Manuel Montoliú. (photo by the author)   It was a day of anticipation. At five in the afternoon on the day of Saint Joseph, the most revered day of the Valencian calendar, the one date every Valencian bullfighter dreams of crossing the golden sand of the arena on Jativa Street, Manolo Montoliú, one of Spain’s best and well loved banderilleros was to appear in his local bullring as matador de toros. Taking his promotion at 32 in neighboring Castellón seventeen days earlier, he was considered old in the ranks of bullfighters. More so if one kept in mind that in two months time, the sixteen-year-old José Miguel Arroyo would be confirmed as a matador. But Montoliú wasn’t an ordinary torero. According to the late Zabala in ABC: “He took the road to his doctorate by way of the old paths of classical apprenticeship.”   After first considering a safe career in banking, he decides to follow in his father’s footsteps and in 1973 makes his debut as a novillero in the Catalan tourist bullring of San Feliú de Guixols. Not long after, the young novillero comes to the arena of Valencia. Seven difficult years follow, in which he travels from one village...

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Fallas de 2020

festival La Despensa del Toreo

Festival La Despensa del Toreo

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