La prensa

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

Author: Mark Schwarz
Created: 06 February, 2015
Updated: 13 September, 2023
4 min read

TaurineJose Tomas has been in Mexico for several months following his abbreviated “season” in Spain (3 corridas). He has named former matador and current promoter Jorge Avila as his representative for the country, which might lead the uninitiated to believe that something is in the offing for the master from Galapagar. Rumors have been carefully dispersed that he will appear in Plaza Mexico on February 22, but the information has not been substantiated, and the representative of Plaza Mexico, Pablo Alvarez, “Palillo” has stated, rather cryptically, that Tomas is welcome to fight “whenever he wants.” Stay tuned—

Joselito Adame, the most successful Mexican matador on the world stage in the last 30 years, has been left out of the “Temporada Grande” in Mexico City. The dispute is openly acknowledged to be on the question of money; Adame, through his management company, Casa Toreros (promoters of Tijuana’s Monumental de las Playas) clearly understands Adame’s value and importance; Mexico City empresario Rafael Herrerias, clearly does not.

There is no reasonable explanation that Joselito Adame should not perform in Mexico City as many times as he wishes, with whatever competition he wishes at, practically, whatever price he wishes. Mexican toreo has been waiting for someone of Adame’s ability, patience, humility and determination for decades; what twisted mental gymnastics occur in Herrerias’ calculations only serve to underscore his absolute lack of fitness as empresario of Mexico’s largest plaza de toros. Adame has cartel (the ability to draw people to the bullring); his technique is solid and improving and his aesthetic is gaining sophistication as he performs more often.

Unfortunately, it seems, Herrerias’ private prejudices, self-absorbed greed, and poor taurine judgment continue to conspire against Adame whom, the reader will recall, opened the Puerta Grande on 3 (and almost 4) consecutive occasions last temporada, performed in 30 corridas in Spain (41 in Mexico, for a total of 71), suffered 2 minor cornadas and was widely acknowledged to be figura in the making. The old saw for promoters (and perhaps business people at large) is that “lo barato te sale caro”, when—if—Herrerias ever learns this might be too late for Mexican toreo.

World Class Cartel in Tijuana to Honor “Giraldes” – Novel empresario Andres Lujan, working together with Casa Toreros, will present an outstanding cartel to honor Tijuana resident and eminent taurine media personality and critic, Valeriano Salceda, “Giraldes”.

Salceda was recently honored by La Fundacion Cultura Sin Fronteras of Tijuana, with the “Angel de la Esperanza” prize for his 60 plus years of passionate and knowledgeable commentary on La Fiesta Brava.

The cartel will be headlined by Tijuana favorite son Alejandro Amaya, international figure Sebastian Castella, making his second ever Tijuana appearance, and Casa Toreros pupil and resurgent Mexican star Octavio Garcia, “El Payo.” Lujan, acting in Tijuana for Casa Toreros, said that the bulls for the afternoon will come from the prestigious Queretaro ranch of Los Encinos, and that the entire corrida weighs more than 500 kilos (1,100 pounds), with one coming in at nearly 600 kilos (1,320 pounds). “Giraldes” will be honored before the corrida with a commemorative plaque, a turn around the ring, and a new eponymous “paso-doble” (the traditional two-step orchestral accompaniment of the bullring), composed by local composer/director Felix Rangel and interpreted by the Banda Taurina de Tijuana, under the direction of Esteban Favela y Renato Gijon.

Bailleres Becoming a Major World Taurine Power – Alberto Bailleres, owner of the San Miguel de Mimiahuapam, Begonia, and San Martin ranches of brave bulls, is now positioned as one of the major international taurine movers and shakers. His recent purchase of the entire Zalduendo ranch—one of the most popular and coveted breeds in Spain—from owner Fernando Domeq, as well as the formation of the FIT (Fusion Internacional para la Tauromaquia) with French promoter Simon Casas, and Spanish promoter Jose Cutino, converts Bailleres, already hugely influential in Mexico, to, potentially, one of the most powerful impresarios in the bull world.

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Zalduendo, one of the direct descendent lines of the Domeq breed, has been one of the most successful ganaderias in Spain for more than two decades, though it has lately seen some difficult times and less than satisfying results. FIT, the curious acronym for the confluence of three of the more restlessly creative minds in taurine promotion, stated at a Madrid unveiling in January that its purpose is to, “…defend the Fiesta, resolve its problems, attract new audiences, renovate historically important plazas such as those of Cordoba and Valladolid (Spain), and bring other promoters into dialogue and cooperation for the future of the Fiesta…”

Responsibility and financial arrangements for specific plazas will remain with those entity’s current management teams, and the exact import of the arrangement is still deliciously mysterious. Such a group could surely be a powerful stimulus on the Fiesta on both sides of the Atlantic, but taurine business dealings are notoriously short-sighted—not without some reason, perhaps—so the glad-handing and elaborate public presentations may be just another chapter in pomp and circumstance when el toreo mundial needs precisely the opposite.

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