La prensa

Barrera Taurina

Author: Mark Schwarz
Created: 20 March, 2015
Updated: 13 September, 2023
4 min read

The corrida to honor legendary Tijuana taurine critic Valeriano Salceda, “Giraldes” originally scheduled for Sunday, March 1, was rained out. It has been reprogrammed for this Sunday, March 22, at 4:00 pm, reflecting the daylight savings time hour change. The card—somewhat miraculously—remains the same; French superstar Sebastian Castella, who makes a lightning return from the opening of the Spanish season in Castellon de la Plana and a resounding triumph with the bull “Juncoso” of the Nunez de Cuvillo ranch in the third corrida of the famous “Fallas” fair in Valencia, joins Tijuana artist Alejandro Amaya¸and Mexico City triunfador Octavio Garcia, “El Payo”.

The trio will face a very serious herd of bulls from the famous Los Encinos ranch of Queretaro. Worth noting is Los Encinos’ excellent showing in Guadalajara, the same March 1 date of the “Giraldes” affair, where three of the six animals run for Alejandro Talavante, Joselito Adame and Juan Pablo Sanchez, were applauded in the arrastre following their respective performances, and one was given a slow turn of the ring to acknowledge his superior bravery and fighting style.

Los Encinos has become something of a reference point for the Mexican cabana brava—consistently presenting animals of irreproachable physique (five year old animals are not unusual) and excellent style. Casa Toreros and young empresario Andres Lujan Valladolid have restructured seating and prices for this corrida—perhaps a sign of changes to come when (IF?) the “summer temporada” comes to pass this year.

Only the lower, “numerado” seats will be sold for the event—8,000 of the approximately 22,000 available—with the general admission prices of $300 Mexican pesos (approximately $20 U.S.) for shady side, and $200 Mexican pesos ($13 U.S.) for sunny side. Weather forecasts are good for the day, which also features a pre-corrida open air food and wine festival with some of Tijuana’s most forward thinking and popular restaurateurs such as Casa Valencia, Vinos L. A. Cetto, and more.

The cartels for Madrid’s San Isidro fair were officially announced on Monday, and though there are still a few pieces to be finalized (mostly a question of what bulls on what days), there appear to be no notable absences from the month long (May 8-June 7) affair.

Miguel Angel Perera, 2014’s unanimous selection as maximum triunfador will appear 3 times, as will cognoscenti favorite Diego Urdiales (another significant omission (??) from the Sevilla program, and figura in waiting, Ivan Fandino, (who will also open the formal season in Las Ventas next Sunday, March 29, by facing six bulls from six different ganaderias—all of which have storied reputations for being ornery and dangerous when handled poorly, or at all). Several others will appear twice—always a risk with the notoriously fickle Madrid public—but Morante de la Puebla and Jose Mari Manzanares, returning to activity following his late father’s unexpected and sudden death, will perform only once each, which by itself poses significant risk.

Disappointingly, Mexican figuras Diego Silveti, Octavio Garcia, “El Payo”, and Arturo Saldivar will apparently perform only once each, while Joselito Adame, perhaps the most serious pretender to end the 42 year drought in the world’s most prestigious plaza, is contracted to open the fair on May 8 (a solid cartel featuring one of 2014’s surprises, Pepe Moral, and more than promising newcomer Juan del Alamo, facing a herd form the El Cortijillo ranch). All of the dates are early in the fair, before the “serious” cartels where “El Juli”, Miguel Angel Perera and Alejandro Talavante, among others, will perform.

This may turn out to be a good thing in that a positive showing for any of the young stars would have them favorably positioned in the likely event of a substitution due to injury. Sadly, neither Sergio Flores, one of the most underrated toreros in Mexico, nor Arturo Macias, are not contracted for the one fair that almost in spite of itself—actually can still launch or terminate careers (ref: El Payo in 2012). None the less, the fact that four of the leading Mexican stars will participate in four solid, if not spectacular, combinations, is heartening.

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The Feria de San Marcos, in Aguascalientes, Mexico is beginning to coalesce around the reappearance (re-apparition?) of Jose Tomas (May 2, cartel as yet undefined) and the encerrona (six bulls by himself) of Joselito Adame on the feast day, April 25.

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