August 17, 2001

Bullfight World...
By Lyn Sherwood

Fine Bulls of Llaguno Refuse to Surrender Ears

The ninth corrida of the 2001 season saw an overcast day at José López Hurtado's "Beautiful Bullring by The Sea." Nearly 10,000 spectators were on hand to witness matadors Mariano Ramos, Enrique Garza, and Paco Gonzales face a herd of genuine bulls from Don José Julián Llaguno. The animals weighed from 480-640 kilos. That's right, 640 kilos! And, what a truly noble beast it was!


It's amazing that a man who has been a torero as long as has Mariano Ramos continues to have problems with the sword. He missed ears with each of his bulls, through failure at the supreme moment.

With his first animal, "Bienvenidos," at 510 kilos, Ramos did not nothing with the capote, but his third act performance was classic Mariano. Unfortunately, six entries with the sword negated his fine efforts with the muleta. He opened with a nice set of verónicas to the 480-kilo "Bigoton," but his faena was limited to the right hand side. Once again, problems with the sword denied consideration for awards.


With his first animal, "Retad-or," at 500 kilos, Garza didn't do much. The bull was very strong against the horses. Garza did place three pairs of ban-derillas in fine form. The faena was limited, for Retador was a distracted, rambling beast. Applause.

Enrique's second bull was the mighty "Don Max," the 640-kilo creature, with which he opened with a kneeling larga cambiada. Following the pic'ing, Garza gave a nice set of chicuelinas antiguas. He then brought down the house by placing three pairs of cortas, al quiebro. Enrique turned in a brave, but not necessarily dominant, faena, almost exclusively on the right. After missing the first sword, he killed with a full thrust, for applause. Don Max also received applause, during the drag-out.


In his previous two Tijuana appearances, Gonzales had bad bulls, so it was hoped that the lad might be able to do something. He didn't. With the 530-kilo "Capullin," he did nothing with the cape. His faena was scary. Capulin was a dangerous, wicked bull, and Paco was lucky to get out alive. With his second toro, "Don Kiki" (520 kilos), he tried, but seemed to lack the experience to cope with the bull, which I thought was the best of the day. After a couple of pinchazos and a good sword, it was over. Nada.

Nevertheless, it was great to see a herd of authentic toros bravos, so the day wasn't a total loss.

...Gary Sloan



Retired Venezuelan matador Antonio José Galán, 50 and banderillero José Manuel Losanda "El Pión" were killed, August 12, in an auto crash in France. Galán's novillero son, David, was gravely injured. Galán was an active matador from 1972-1992, during which time he suffered numerous grave gorings.


The great Spanish Rejoneador Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza made history August 12, in San Sebastián, when he cut four ears and heard strong petition for a tail for his performance with each of his bulls. Never before in that place had such an event been recorded. And he did it without his favorite horse, "Cagancho," which was recuperating from a slight wound. Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza left on the shoulders of his cheering fans.

The rejoneador is planning another fall and winter tour of Mexican plazas de toros.


For the second time, this season, Julian López "El Juli" has suffered a grave goring. After cutting an ear from his first bull, El Juli was just beginning his faena to the last of the day, in Malaga, when he was caught and gored in the left leg, leaving a wound with trajectories of eight and 10 centimeters, respectively. One of the trajectories was in the scrotum.

Although bleeding profusely, El Juli stayed in the ring and killed the bull, before allowing his assistants to carry him to the waiting surgeons in the infirmary. He was awarded an ear from the bull that gored him.

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