At 5.30 pm on a rainy afternoon on Tuesday October 9, 1990 Vicente Ruiz El Soro presented the 20-year-old Victor Manuel Blázquez with the ceremonial sword and muleta as a token of his alternativa. Three days earlier, the Feria de la Comunidad Valenciana had started with a novillada in which Vázquez novillos had been replaced by those from the ganaderia of el Conde de Mayalde. Novillero Miguel Martinez cut the only ear of the evening. The following day started grey and dismal and with cattle from Molero for a Venozolano, a Colombiano and the local Soro II on the cartel, the corrida  had to be suspended after the fourth bull when rain made it impossible to continue. The novillada which was planned next had to be cancelled. 

On the night before the alternativa the rain stopped and it looked like the announced alternativa would take place. The corrida would be a concurso in which six different ganaderias would present their best bulls to be lidiado for the honor of the day. Sadly the order of the afternoon was disrupted when several ganaderias were pulled out of the contest and only two of the announced six names remained. The toricantano Victor Manuel Blázquez would face an animal from Salustiano Galache as his first opponent and end the evening with a Joaquin Nuñez bull, instead of the announced bull from Joaquin Buendía. Padrino Vicente Ruiz El Soro was left with cattle from Antonia Julia de Marca and a Justo Nieto bull in fourth place. The witness of the ceremony was Enrique Ponce who only took his alternativa seven months earlier but confirmed his position in the Valencian July feria when he faced six bulls in solitario. For tonight he had a Gavira bull (instead of Concha Navarro) and an animal from Peralta (for Moro Zamorano).

There’s not much I can say about the corrida, only that the rain came back, falling steadily in an annoying drizzle and ending in a downpour, El Soro cut one ear on his first and Blázquez kept a happy memory of this special occasion by cutting an ear of a Lamamie de Clairac bull that substituted the one from Nuñez Benjumea who broke his horn coming out. The concurso de ganaderias was declared void but if I remember correctly, El Soro’s picador took home the prize for the best puyazo.

Even so, the afternoon belonged to Víctor Manuel Blázquez who joined the ranks of matadores de toros, a position for which he had worked all his taurine life. It was confirmed five years later in Madrid with a corrida by Los Bayones and Manuel Caballero who introduced him to the capital’s afición.
Víctor Manuel is today a highly respected teacher at the Valencia School of Bullfighting and has seen many aspiring youngsters succeed in bullrings across the country. But what is more, his experience of more than thirty years helps young people to find their place in the world.
Congratulations on your anniversary.

Crónica de Pieter Hildering

fotografias de: Mateo. Tauroimagenplus