La prensa

Barrera Taurina…rumors, half-truths, and anything in between…

Author: Mark Schwarz
Created: 29 May, 2015
Updated: 13 September, 2023
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4 min read

Los EncinosThe bulls from the Queretaro ranch of Los Encinos have arrived at the corrals of the Plaza Monumental de Playas, in Tijuana. The empresario, thoughtfully, has forwarded photos of the animals, always a good sign where the presentation of the bulls is concerned. The average weight of the sextet is just over 515 kilos (1,133 lbs), and they are very well presented, indeed.

Los Encinos, property of Eduardo Martinez Urquidi, is one of the preferred ganaderias of the moment in Mexico, where its bulls have delivered significant triumphs to toreros such as Jose Tomas, Julian Lopez, “El Juli”, Eulalio Lopez, “El Zotoluco”, and Joselito Adame, among others. The encierro (set of 6) appears healthy and completely reestablished after the nearly 1,600 mile trip early in the month.

The cartel, in honor of legendary taurine critic, media personality and Tijuana resident, Valeriano Salceda, “Giraldes” is comprised of Tijuana native Alejandro Amaya, French superstar Sebastian Castella, and the resurgent Mexican ace Octavio Garcia, “El Payo”. Tickets for the corrida, which begins at 3:00pm, are specially priced. “General” prices for Sunny Side seats will be 200 pesos ($13 US) and 300 pesos ($21 US), however, instead of the usual General seating in upper rows 21-40, these seats will be in the lower, closer “Preferente” rows 11-20.

The corrida will be preceded by an open air festival in the bullring patio, featuring some of Tijuana’s finest restaurateurs, wines and music.

Jose Tomas, the magisterial taurine high priest of Galapagar, has announced his “apparition” (re-apparition?) in the Feria de San Marcos in Aguascalientes, Mexico, on Saturday, May 2, 2015. This is the first announced corrida for the elusive icon, and it occurs 5 years and 8 days after his nearly fatal cornada by the bull “Navegante” of the Santiago ranch of Pepe Garfias.

Secret talks (are there any other kind when it comes to Jose Tomas—consummate master of the old edict “less is more”?) with the empresario of Aguascalientes had begun last year but fell apart when they were made public before Tomas was comfortable with the cartel, bulls, and honoraria, rumored to have been nearly 600,000 Euros (approximately $1,000,000). To date, no other details of the cartel have been announced, but Tomas’ modus operandi in this latest stage of a remarkable career, is well known; he does not fancy leading off (preferring to confront the 2nd and 5th bulls), and that the “closer” on the cartel is someone upon who he looks favorably. As with all things Tomas, stay tuned; announcements will be stingily released as the date of the appearance approaches…

Jose Antonio, “Morante de la Puebla” has announced that, for a second consecutive year, he will NOT appear in Sevilla’s Real Maestranza plaza, for reasons which are somewhat unclear, but revolve around the—again—less than responsive treatment of the star attractions by the ages old Pages family management group, who controls the Plaza outright.

It will be remembered that last season none of the so called G-5 stars—Morante, El Juli, Alejandro Talavante, Miguel Angel Perera or Jose Maria Manzanares, agreed to appear in the Maestranza as protest against the empresario, which for years has taken the lion’s share of the gate, television and marketing royalties, shorting the actual protagonists—toreros and bull breeders—by trading on the undeniable importance, attraction and weighty history of both the Maestranza and Sevilla in collective taurine imagination (“Quien es el Mas Caro de Sevilla?” Mundotoro.com, 2/19/15).

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Last year’s April Fair—one of the magnum events of the taurine calendar—was a pitiful failure by both economic and artistic standards, and press releases from all parties through the late fall and winter signaled a thaw. Manzanares, in fact, broke early from the five and contracted at least two, and perhaps 3, dates during the coming season. However, Talavante, apparently still smarting for lack of “respectful treatment”, voluntarily excused himself from consideration, and to date, neither Juli nor Perera have been contacted by Pages personnel.

Sources close to the Maestranza and the mayor of Sevilla anonymously released an offer to Morante for five corridas spread out between the Spring Fair and the San Miguel fair in September, to which the matador—currently on tour in Mexico—responded with a curt denial of the offer and refusal to appear in Sevilla in 2015, because—according to Mundo-toro, of a lack of “seriousness” regarding the possible cartel combinations, which did not meet the requirements of either Morante or the Sevillan taurine public. A second straight year of minor figuras appearing in what is arguably the world’s most important bullring, at a time of economic, cultural, and political crises, can have only adverse effects on the Fiesta as a whole. There is still room for blinking.

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