June 2, 2006

Bullfight World
By Lyn Sherwood

Donnybrook in the Afternoon

Ortega and Crew Should Have Been Jailed For Disrespecting Tijuana Judge

A crowd of 7,000 - 8,000 spectators turned out, May 28, to Plaza El Toreo de Tijuana to watch matadors Rafael Ortega, Juan Antonio Adame, and Ishmael Rodriguez challenge a set of bulls from Santa Fe del Campo. But, the afternoon was marred by a huge donnybrook between Ortega and his cuadrilla, against the plaza judge.

According to correspondent Gary Sloan, Ortega opened the afternoon with “Miguelito”, a 510-kilo toro, with veronicas, climaxed with the media veronica. Miguelito was strong against the horses, and between pics, Ortega gave a nice set of chicuelinas, finished with a serpentina.

Ortega chose to place the banderillas, but the animal’s sentido didn’t allow him much success. His faena de muleta produced few highlights, and it took three attempts to finally dispatch Miguelito with a full thrust.

Ortega was applauded. But, then came his second animal and the ensuing debate. The bull, “Fercho” (500 kilos) didn’t allow much in the way of opening cape work, but gave up a nice set of chicuelinas antiguas “Navarras,” between the pics.

Ortega’s banderillas included one par a la violina, then a pair of cortas al quiebro, next to the barrera. That placement nearly resulted in disaster, but it inspired the crowd to cheer. In his faena, Ortega began with a set of kneeling derechazos that were downright scary. They were followed by good sets on both sides, while the crowd enthusiastically applauded the matador. Ortega’s sword placement was somewhat low, but effective. The plaza judge correctly responded to the crowd petition by granting an ear.

There was a huge petition for the second ear, but the judge remained resolute. This set off an even larger petition for the second ear, with the matador and his subalterns getting into the act, whipping the crowd into a frenzy. But, to his credit, the judge did not back down.

Ortega and his crew were all lucky that the judge didn’t, quite properly, order all of them to be arrested for their lack of respect. There is only one ultimate authority in the plaza de toros, and he sits behind the Autoridád sign. I would not be surprised to discover that the judge imposed heavy fines on Ortega & Company.


With his first bull, “Janego” (475 kilos), Juan Antonio Adame opened with some rather awkward veronicas, finished with a rebolera. Following the pics, the tall youngster demonstrated a good feel for the banderillas, placing three pair, easily and well.

The third act was very, very good, with long, precise sets to both sides, all accomplished in classic style. His sword placement was terrific, with the bull dying with its hooves in the air. Following a huge ovation, both ears were awarded.

Adame wasn’t able to do anything with the capote to his second bull, the 520-kilo “Muñeco,” a large animal that proved to be very difficult. The matador placed the banderillas, but barely escaped from each pair. His faena went nowhere, with Adame almost being caught, on several occasions. This, combined with bad luck with the sword, resulted in applause, but no awards.


Ishmael Rodriguez opened his performance with a pair of kneeling cape lances to the 470-kilo “Colacho.”  These were followed by nice, close chicuelinas, but no veronicas. Following the pics, he showed a set of good gaoneras, but still no veronicas.

His third act was good on both sides, with kneeling passes and a few rather unusual passes. Following a good sword placement, Rodriguez was awarded an ear.

Ishmael’s second bull, “Gero” (515 kilos), was very difficult and refused to allow the matador the matador to show much with cape, muleta, or sword. June will be dark in the Tijuana plazas, because of the World Cup, but the season will begin anew in July, with corridas being celebrated July 12, 13, and 14, celebrating the city’s birthday festival. But, Bullfight World will keep readers aware of what goes on in other parts of the planet of the bulls, including nearby Mexicali.

Last Sunday in Mexico City

The third corrida de toros of the “Feria Torista”, in La Plaza Mexico attracted only 5,000 people to the stands. High winds impeded the card of Fernando Ochoa, Ricardo Rosas and Aldo Orozco, who met a herd of bulls from La Joya.

Ochoa turned in some exceptional work with cape and muleta to his first, but had problems with the sword and heard an aviso. With his second toro, little could be accomplished, due to the high winds.

Ricardo Rosas was soundly boo’ed for both of his performances, while Aldo Orozco was applauded for his first lídia and registered a division of opinions for his second.

Only one more corrida de toros remains in the Mexico City 2005-2006 winter season.

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