Monday, March 23, 2015

A Corrida at Murcia's Plaza de Toros

Sunday, 22 March, 2015:

The second of the two blogposts for today is about our evening at the bullfights.

This was my third bullfight in Spain, having previously been to a corrida in Madrid during the Feria de San Isidro in May of 2012 and, of course, last Tuesday at the Feria de Las Fallas in Valencia.

This corrida would be a bit different from those first two. Instead of three Matadors each fighting two bulls, this corrida for the benefit of Spain's Anti-Cancer Association, would feature one Rejoneador and six Matadors each fighting only one bull. A Rejoneador fights his bull solely on horseback.

Furthermore, instead of wearing the traditional Suit of Lights, all seven would be wearing traditional Andalusian outfits. 

The corrida was scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. but, like our Cobras game this morning, the start would be delayed.

Rain wreaked havoc in the arena

Lots of rakes and bags of sand/dirt

Lots of sloppy mud

Meeting of the minds

The work on the arena to make the surface safe for all of the people and animals delayed the start of the corrida 45 minutes. No problem unless you were trying to take pictures with less and less light on an already overcast evening.

Speaking of overcast, I had bought more expensive seats on the Sombra (shady) side of the arena and for the second time this week, the overcast made for no Sol or Sombra sides.
We were ready for a good night
of Toros on a damp night

I mentioned that I had been to two previous bullfights in Spain. In those two corridas, the six bullfighters had failed to win any awards (ears and tails) on any of their 12 bulls.

Tonight would be quite different.

The Formal Band

Their music is used to entertain the crowd throughout the evening.

Small Band

Their music is used to announce the coming of a new bull and changes during the course of each bullfight.

Award Officials

If the Judge does award a Matador an ear or two, one of these two men will collect them and then present them to the Matador.

Most of this post's pictures will be about our Rejoneador, Sergio Galan, for two reasons. First, Laurie's love of well trained horses and second, he was up first when there was still enough light to make pictures worthwhile.

Sergio Galan and one of his many horses

Cuadrilla on parade

Andalusian Outfits

Picadors and Banderilleros
wore different too

Colorful Arrastre


Sergio Galan's Bull and Second Horse

Bull taking dead aim

During a normal bullfight the Matador will make a series of passes with his cape to start to tire the bull and see how the bull moves. A Rejoneador uses his horse as the cape in an exciting game of Tag during this initial phase of the fight.

A change of horses for the
picador phase

Again, the Rejoneador does it all

Playing with the bull

New Horse


Lots of Bravado

Good Placement

Well done again


A taste for the Horsemanship

The Killing Sword . . .

. . . Strikes home

Galan jumped off of his horse
to encourage the bull to die

Now, Here


Bullfighters are ALL about the strut


It was quite a spectacle and Galan richly deserved his two ears. Finally, we had seen a good fight!

 Up next, Enrique Ponce

Ponce's ganaderia provided the bulls for the next six bullfights. He is considered to be one of Spain's best all-time Matadors and would not disappoint the crowd today.

All of his bull's were aggressive thus giving each Matador a strong challenge.

Beautiful Cape Work

That horn is too close for comfort

Against the Barrera

A wonderful Faena

Ponce in complete control now

His sword thrust was perfect, the crowd went wild and the judge said . . .

Two Ears and the Tail

Javier Conde cut an ear

Rafaelillo replaced the
popular Paquirri on the bill . . .


Double WOW!!

He showed great bravery

Nice pass

More bravery

Total Mastery or Insanity?

No muleta to distract the bull now after Rafaelillo threw it down.

Rafaelillo earned two ears and the tail for his efforts.

The Arena at Twilight

El Cid was not able to earn any awards

It must be remembered that El Cid must be over a thousand years old by now.

Paco Ureña's capework

He would earn two ears tonight.

The seventh and final Matador of the night was Antonio Puerta. I put away the camera to just sit and watch this last fight solely with the naked eye.

Puerta was amazing too and cut two ears and the tail!

Post Corrida Selfie

The total award count for the night was 11 ears and three tails. What a night at La Fiesta Brava!!!

As for the seven dead bull . . .

The Butcher Shop across from the
Plaza de Toros was open for business

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