Bull Fighting Season Canceled in Madrid

The Spanish bullfighting season appears to have hit a rough patch this year as three different fighters were injured by bulls, causing the Las Ventas ring to stop the show. This is the first time in 35 years that bullfighting in the prestigious ring was halted due to injuries, officials said.

Fiesta de San Isidro is held yearly in Spain during the month of May, and the Madrid bullfighting is traditionally a big part of it. However, attendance at the fights seems to have dropped somewhat since 2008, as people become more aware that approximately ten thousand fighting bulls are being killed each year.

Many people are unaware that each matador goes onto the field with six assistants. Two with lances, each mounted on horseback, three men with flags, one to take care of the sword, and a couple more to serve as pages. At the beginning of the fight, the flaggers get the bull to run at them while the matador observes the animal’s style, taking note of any impairments or unusual behaviors. Next, the lancers ride in on blindfolded, padded horses and get the bull to attack the horse so they can stab it in the neck as it does so, hoping to weaken it’s muscles and make it fight with a lowered head.

Next, each of the three flaggers attempts to stab the bull with two flags in its shoulders, attempting to make the bull weaker through even more loss of blood. Once the bull is completely exhausted and they’ve got him worn out enough, in comes the matador alone with a cape and sword. After getting really close to the bull and waving around his cape to distract it, the matador finally kills the bull in a (hopefully) quick and precise stabbing. Very rarely, a bull who fights well enough will be spared and used as a stud. No bull is ever allowed to enter a fight for a second time because it would know what to expect and be a much more dangerous opponent.

In the events of this year’s fighting, three different matadors were gored. The first, David Mora, was the most seriously injured when Deslio gored him in his side, then continued to maul him a bit more for good measure. Antonio Nazare came in and killed Deslio, then faced his own opponent, Feten, who thoroughly enjoyed dragging the matador around the ring and left him with an injured knee. Saul Jimenez Fortes came in to fight Feten as well, and the bull skewered him in the leg and pelvis.

Clearly these bulls just aren’t willing to take it anymore! Considering all the indignities suffered among them, as mentioned in here, who can blame them?

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