Tomás Rufo cuts an ear in the bullfight of Victoriano del Río in San Isidro

May 16 and bullfighting geography celebrating the first International Bullfighting Day, established as such in memory of the same date in 1920 when, in Talavera, the bull Bailaor mortally gored Joselito El Gallo (or Gallet for Catalan fans, who made it his own).

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
15 May 2024 Wednesday 23:05
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Tomás Rufo cuts an ear in the bullfight of Victoriano del Río in San Isidro

May 16 and bullfighting geography celebrating the first International Bullfighting Day, established as such in memory of the same date in 1920 when, in Talavera, the bull Bailaor mortally gored Joselito El Gallo (or Gallet for Catalan fans, who made it his own). “Four archangels came down / and opened furrows of flowers / to the king of the matadors / on their shoulders they carried him away” (“Joselito in the glory of him.” Rafael Alberti).

And like every year, on each parade on May 16 in Las Ventas, a minute of silence in honor of the bullfighter who inspired and whom José Bergamín honors in El Arte de Birlibirloque. For the occasion, bulls from Victoriano del Río-Bulls from Cortés for Sebastián Castella, José María Manzanares and Tomás Rufo and to their claim, a new one full of “There are no bills” and they go... Minorities, they call it.

A bull of fine pitons and little cloth opened the ring (meow! some chanted at every attempt by Sebastián Castella with the cape) to which the punishment was measured in rods. On the land of 7 Castella began the move, with the wind playing against it (and inhabitants of that line, too). The bullfighter from Beziers, with his crutch in his right hand, tried to tame the decomposed attacks, which he succeeded sometimes yes and sometimes no. So there was no choice but to abbreviate. And that's what Castella did, going for the sword, which he didn't handle in the best of ways.

The second put José María Manzanares in trouble when he tried to pin him on his cape and showed a certain fixity in his two encounters with the horse. Bullfighter begins the Manzanares bullfight, in which there was a cartel trench. The wind was blowing but the man from Alicante tempered the attacks with linked and low-handed rounds that raised applause and the occasional show of disapproval from the recalcitrants.

The third round was superb and after a single with the left in which he lowered the pitch (the air as a handicap) he returned to the right for a last one that raised the tone again. He took the rapier and called the bull in luck to receive, leaving a deep puncture on top with quick effect. His request for an ear did not come to fruition and he received a loud applause.

Tomás Rufo also had no option to show off with the first of his lot, who pushed the horse and Sergio Blasco and Fernando Sánchez flagged with great exposure. On his knees, Rufo called to the bull that came galloping and took the crutch by the right piton with temperance and length.

With the Toledo bullfighter already standing, Victoriano del Río's bullfighter continued attacking with quality but fairness of strength, but when he took the left he was impaled in an ugly way although without apparent consequences. He returned to the bull's face and to the same python, very firm, very truthful, and after one last series he went in to kill straight, leaving half a thrust above. Ear of merit.

Unaware, he passed the fourth through Castella's cape and as soon as he saw the picador he went from afar towards him, although he hardly received any punishment, not even in the second match. José Chacón left two superb pairs of banderillas and Castella toasted the audience. Victory was felt.

Passes without moving a muscle, low right hands and the bull charging with humiliation and length, the same as in natural bullfighting. Settled and already on nearby terrain, Castella continued until the rudeness came, throwing the crutch into the sand and offering his chest to the bull. He sounded a warning before preparing to go in to kill what he did in the media and there rolled the good bull of Victoriano del Río. The anticipated triumph was left with a scant request for an ear and a final ovation.

The best of the first two thirds in the fifth of the afternoon came from the hand of Paco María, picador under the orders of José María Manzanares, with two well-managed punches and bullfighting on horseback. Bull with mobility and certain violence and disposition of Manzanares in the first round series but without managing to settle. With the left he was able to temper himself more and when he returned to the right everything began to dissipate. This time he got stuck with the sword.

Tomás Rufo had the Puerta Grande ajar and lest he open it completely, some decided that it was best to predispose the atmosphere to the opposition and protested the presentation of the sixth, almost 6 years old, 592 kg. and two perches for pythons. Anyway. Rufo firmness in the statues at the beginning of the task and round, bossy and long ones in the later series. On the left the bull was not the same and that is why he took the right hand again but nothing was the same. And with the sword things weren't very far either.

Very interesting bullfight by Victoriano del Río, bullfights and bullfighters to match. And Gallito “the king of bullfighters” always in memory.