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Pedro Romero would be turning in his grave PDF
Saturday, 03 September 2011 00:00

We went to the Novillada in Ronda yesterday, the first of the three corridas de toros in the Feria de Pedro Romero 2011. I took my German step-nephew, who is holidaying with us, as he’d never seen a bullfight. What a disappointment it turned out to be, both for him, and also for me, as I’d been to this particular event in previous years and found it to be very good!

The Novillada is an opportunity for six young toreros to perform in public. Obviously they are going to be nervous about their debut before a crowd, but yesterday’s affair was riddled with errors.

There were umpteen dropped capes, poor placement of banderillas and three of the six novilleros were tossed and one gored, although he was able to continue. But worst of all, despite some fine passes, not one novillero was able to kill his bull tidily.

In fact, number 5 was enough to put you off this wonderful spectacle for ever more. Having failed to despatch the bull by placing the sword correctly into the animal’s heart, the torero needed five attempts to stab it in the neck and sever the spinal cord. And all this took place just under our noses, blood flying everywhere from the wound in the bull’s neck. Yeuch!

Pedro Romero (1754 – 1839), seen here in a painting by Goya, was born in Ronda. He is credited with being the first torero to use the muleta (small red cape) and the estoque (sword) to bring about the death of the bull. In other words he was the inventor of modern bullfighting.

He was highly skilled at his art and is said to have despatched more than 5000 bulls in his long career.

He would surely be turning in his grave at the thought of yesterday’s events.

© Paul Whitelock

See also:

Bull or No Bull?

Bullfighting - To Ban or Not to Ban?


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Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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