Bullfight World...
by Lyn Sherwood

A Fine Bullfight Weekend For Aficionados, Raquel Martinez Breaks Arm In Festival

Local aficionados were treated to a weekend of artistry and excitement, Aug. 15-16, as Plaza Monumental de Tijuana celebrated a festival and a corrida de toros.

Fernando Ochoa delivered two excellent performances and won three ears, as he was the triunfadór of last Sunday's bullfight in Plaza Monumental de Tijuana.

On Saturday, a herd of four excellent novillos from Hernando Limón was presented in a festival, featuring Matadores Pepe López Hurtado, David Renk, Raquél Martinez, and aficionado práctico Bruce Hutton. The animals were sturdy, brave, and noble.

Performing in first position, Hutton, who was the empresario for the event, was applauded for this efforts. It would be his final appearance in the ring, as he financed the entire event.

Then, Raquel Martinez won a pair of ears for a fine performance with cape and muleta, and demonstrating great personality and ability.

Pepe López Hurtado turned in the best faena of the day, working both side with ease and artistry, but suffered a hard tossing and injured his right hand, thus impeded his efforts to dispatch the novillo and losing a potential two ears that the faena would most certainly have won. It was a shame, for he performed in great style.

David "El Texano" Renk, from Texas, was granted a pair of ears, following a fine action with cape, muleta, and sword. He ran the hand in grand style, totally dominating his fine novillo. Renk took two turns of the ring, including one with the ganadero. During the first act, while assisting Renk, Martinez was thrown to the ground, fracturing her right arm, near the shoulder. She was treated at the local toreros's hospital.

At the end, all of the toreros were warmly applauded for their efforts and for the excellence of the Limón animals.

On Sunday, the aficionados saw another good herd of bulls, this from Yturbe Hermanos, which were presented to matadores Maurício Portillo, Mario del Olmo, and Fernando Ochoa. All were cárdenos or cárdenos oscuros. Only two of the animals---both for Portillo---presented problems that the matador could not solve. The others were mature, brave, noble, and well-armed with complete horns.

Portillo's first bull was soso and unpredictable. The matador gave it a technical faena, then suffered problems killing, hearing one aviso, and was booed by the crowd. It was a similar story with his second bull, which resulted in two avisos. The animal died only seconds before the third and final warning would have been sounded. It was a terrible day for Portillo.

But, such was not the case for the other two matadores. Mario del Olmo opened with a farol de rodillas and good Verónicas, then designed a faena that was varied and artistic, although lacking in depth. Following a good sword, he was awarded an ear.

His second performance was superior, as he worked with artistry and great domination. It was a very good performance. However, he had troubles with the sword and heard one aviso.

The best performances of the afternoon were turned in by Fernando Ochoa. With his first bull, "Copetón", he turned in a very good lídia, including an excellent faena de muleta. The animal was so brave, it kept its mouth closed, right to the final second. Ochoa placed a good sword, but the animal tardied in surrendering to death, limiting the matador to a well-deserved ear.

But, with the last bull of the day, "Sombrerito", which to this point, was the bravest bull of the season, Ochoa opened with superb Verónicas, then presented a faena that was well-planned, artistic, and complete in every aspect. After missing the first sword, Ochoa placed an excellent second opportunity, felling the bull and winning a pair of ears for the matador. "Sombrerito" was honored with a slow drag from the plaza.

In all a fine afternoon.


This Sunday, in the "Beautiful Bullring by The Sea", a herd from Arroyo Condo will be presented to Antonio Urrutia, Enrique Garza, and "El Zapata". The action begins at 4:30.

On Sept. 18, Julián López "El Juli" will receive his alternativa of matadorship in Spain. Born Oct. 3. 1982, he will be only 16 years of age when he bcomes a matador.


Restoring One's Faith in Tijuana

By Lyn Sherwood

As you may recall, in one of my Bullfight World columns, last year my wife and I had our car broken into, near Plaza Monumental. It Distressed me, for I had been traveling to Tijuana for the better part of 30 years, and this was the first time that I had encountered any problems.

Last week, my good friends Fred and David Renk came here, so that Matador David could perform in a festival, in The Beautiful Bullring by The Sea. Well, Texans love to party, and Fred and a group of aficionados did exactly that, Saturday night, at Barra Jaripeo, across the street from the plaza. The owner Salvador Juárez, joined in the celebration, which lasted until 4 a.m.

The next morning, Fred Renk discovered that his wallet---containing cash and all of his credit cards---was missing. Considering it probably a hopeless cause, Fred went back to the restaurant, Sunday, and asked Sr. Juárez if he had found the wallet.

"Oh, do you mean this?" he asked, opening the register and retrieving the wallet. "I thought it meant that we were going into business, together."

Fred was, of course, relieved. And, Sunday evening, after the bullfight, the whole group of us returned to the restaurant, for a fabulous dinner of fresh shrimps.

Sr. Juárez, you have restored my faith in Tijuana.

Return to Homepage