Fri, May 23, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Madrid cancels bullfight after three gored

TORO TURNABOUT:Two bulls cleared the roster of bullfighters, forcing the San Isidro festival, the season opener, to shut down for the first time in 35 years

AFP, MADRID

Spanish bullfighter Juan de Alamo fights against his first bull of the evening during the bullfighting held on occasion of the San Isidro festival at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid on Wednesday.

Photo: EPA

Half-tonne fighting bulls skewered or trampled all three matadors in an extraordinary upset at Madrid’s prestigious Las Ventas bullring, forcing the entire spectacle to be canceled.

For the first time in 35 years, the San Isidro festival, which opens the bullfighting season in Spain, had to be suspended late on Tuesday because all the matadors had been injured.

“Drama in Las Ventas” ran the front-page headline of conservative daily ABC over a full-page photo of a huge bull plunging its right horn into the side of the most seriously injured matador, David Mora, before Mora fell to the ground.

Spanish media devoted broad coverage to the bloody turning of the tables in Las Ventas, reputed to be the most important bullring in the world.

“The festival had to be suspended... because of the gorings suffered by the three matadors,” a statement issued by Las Ventas bullring said.

“In the 68-year history of San Isidro, two bullfights have been suspended for gorings of matadors, both in 1979,” it said.

The first bull on the program, a 532kg black bull named Deslio, knocked Mora over during a pass as Mora’s yellow-and-pink cape swirled in the wind. Mora tumbled to the sand beneath his cloak, but the bull immediately returned to its opponent, head down, ramming a horn deep into Mora’s leg and tossing him over repeatedly.

“The somersault was horrific, shocking, chilling, impossible for the human eye to witness yet evident to the mind,” wrote Antonio Lorca, bullfighting correspondent for the leading daily, El Pais.

Mora suffered two gorings: a 30cm gash in the thigh and another in the armpit, a medical report from the bullring said.

Later, bullring operating surgeon Maximo Garcia Padros reportedly said that Mora had required a blood transfusion during a two-hour operation.

“The goring in the femoral vein placed his life in danger. If you don’t act, it empties like an open tap. But that’s why we are here,” he told bullfighting Web site mundotoro.com.

The second matador, Antonio Nazare, appeared before the shocked audience to finish off the animal with his sword. However, Nazare then faced his own opponent, a 537kg brown bull named Feten. The animal dragged the matador along the sand, injuring his knee and forcing him to seek treatment in the bullring hospital, the medical report showed.

Finally, the third matador, Saul Jimenez Fortes, entered the ring to fight Feten. The animal skewered him in the right leg and the pelvis, leaving three 10cm deep injuries, the bullring doctor said. Fortes managed to kill the beast before he, too, sought medical treatment.

In a Spanish bullfight, three matadors spar with a total of six bulls — two each — before putting the animals to the sword. With all three fighters out of action at Las Ventas, the rest of the event was called off.

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