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.

  1. 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.
  2. Pidetodo for Mario Arruza. The last bullfighter of that surname I saw was in 1977 when Manolo replaced El Viti. Whether or not today’s novillero is related I don’t know. He started his faena with a larga cambiada a rodillas followed by some right hand passes to an erratic, jumping bull. Noble and brave but not too strong. An estocada followed a pinchazo and Arruza walked a lap of honor.
  3. Camperito for Escudero. Another erratic, complicated, but brave bull. He would charge the muleta unexpectedly or go for the lure in a flowing movement, giving the novillero a hard time to construct his faena. A pinchazo, an estocada in the ribs and applause for Escudero.
  4. Pajaro. Six hours earlier, during the apartado, an elated Juan Marin told his father that he had won the best bullof all! And Pajaro was just that. A large, noble and brave bull who followed the cape well during the welcoming veronicas as well as the brega in the first tercio. A beautifully constructed faena with slow right- and left handers to which Pajaro responded well. To my surprise Marin understood the special treatment this bull needed and gave him room to recover after every series of passes. Although the angle of his sword was slightly too sharp, the public petitioned for an ear which wasn’t given. A vuelta for Marin and – strangely – silence for the bull (the best of the evening in my opinion) as he was dragged out of the ring.
  5. Sevillano for Valencian Javier Camps. Another brave and noble animal who followed the muleta well, but in the end showed signs of weakness which affected the faena. To the surprise of the novillero, the sword went in at the first try. It instantly dropped the bull and rewarded Camps with the first – and only – ear of the evening.
  6. Tarabillo, the novillo for Eric Oliveira from Badajoz, was a complicated bull, insecure during the faena in which he protested loudly every time he charged the muleta. A pinchazo and an estocada follwed by two descabellos readied Tarabillo for the arrastre.
  7. Duquesito the only brown (colorado) bull of the evening and the last in this three hours long, but interesting novillada in which every novillero had the chance to show off his personal qualities and specialities. For Julian Garibay. During Garibay’s faena I specifically remember a nice series of slow naturales and well executed manoletinas but the novillero failed miserably with the sword, needing a bajonazo, an estocada and six thrusts with the descabello sword to kill the animal. The band played the regional anthem but by now almost everyone had left the arena.

Crónica de: Pieter Hildering

Fotografias de: Mateo. Tauroimagenplus