Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Antonio Prates

Child bullfighters are nothing new. Manolo Mejia, Eloy Cavazos and even Manolete fought as children on foot. Off of horseback there was Arturo Ruiz Loredo and his sisters in the 1960s. (Ruiz Loredo later went to perform as a matador on foot when his sisters retired and then went back to rejoneo). There was Fonton in the 1980s. Now  there is Antonio Prates, a young rejoneador from Vendas Novas, Portugal  who started gaining acclaim at  the age of 12.

As he grows older and refines himself  great things should come from this cavaleiro, who already has shown mastership equal to that of many veterans in the profession. Already appearing numerous times in his native Portugal and becoming much in demand, great things should be in store for him.

Antonio Prates is a name to keep an eye on.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Clarin Magazine

Clarin magazines are now how to come by as they have been out of print for years and dedicated editor Lyn Sherwood has passed away.

From the 1960s into the 1990s they had a long run.

Known for covering the bullfights along the border  the magazine had an outstanding staff of photographers who took some of the finest pictures ever. Tijuana, Nogales and Juarez were constantly featured and this "Bullfight Review In English" as it was called was often sold at these rings. There were other times, however  where it wad not, when certain empresarios grew angry over the honesty of the editorials.

Editor Lyn Sherwood also gave out a trophy every year tot he torero deemed the best along the border each season. Mariano Ramos and Manolo Martinez were continual winners.

For a long time, Clarin was THE publication in English for aficionados. Sadly, there is nothing like it now.

Editor/photographer  Sherwood also penned some books on bullfighting, most notably Yankee in the Afternoon, on American toreros and an early photographic book on Carlos Arruza.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Maera Of The Tragedies

Manuel Garcia "Maera" remains a tragic figure in bullfighting and one of la fiesta's most bizarre figures. Hemingway praised him in Death In The Afternoon and Barnaby Conrad did the same in How To Fight A Bull. The odd part was Maera never originally needed to be a matador. Nor did he intend to be at first.

Maera gained fame as a banderillero for Juan Belmonte  who did not place his own banderillas due to many  leg gorings which kept him from running. Belmonte's two greatest rivals, Joselito and Gaona, were masters with the barbs and as such, Belmonte used Maera to counter their actions. Aficionados came to know Maera as a banderillero as much as any matador.

When Maera went to Belmonte and demanded more money, he was refused, though Belmonte was making a fortune at the time.

Maera then announced he would become a matador himself and show up his former employer.

Maera entered the ranks as a novillero  and rose rapidly in the eyes of the fans. Already established as a banderillero  he came to be recognized for insane bravery with the capote and muleta as well. He did, indeed  take the alternativa and become a matador de toros.

Many contend Maera knew his time was short  as he was suffering from tuberculosis and he knew if the bulls did not kill him, this sickness was going to. This is where the true tragedy is found. How far a healthy Maera might have gone in the bullfighting world remains anyone's guess. History will never know.

Maera eventually died from his affliction, coughing blood in bed and painfully fighting off the Grim Reaper as long  as he could.

He rests within the San Fernando cemetery in Sevilla, where curiously  enough  the tomb of his former employer, Juan Belmonte, may also be found.

In The Shadow Of The Father! Lomelin!

Antonio Lomelin continues to look impressive in his bid to become a figura in the ruedos. One cannot help but wish him luck.

Lomelin is the son of the ill-fated Antonio Lomelin who was a phenomenon ion the 1960s and 1970s, though a series of major gorings and personal problems away from the ring took their toll  on him, leading up to his being found dead via what appeared to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The demise of Antonio Lomelin remains one of bullfighting's greatest tragedies, for in his prime the man took both Mexico  and Spain by storm. He was especially known for his skill with the banderillas  though it was in this act he took two near-fatal horn wounds, one in Tijuana where the horn entered his back and another in Mexico City in the intestines.

For those who remember the father, it is almost spooky to see the new Lomelin in action. It is obvious just who the father was. They have the same dark and brooding features. They have marked similarities in style. From the seats higher up in the plaza de toros, it almost looks as if the original Lomelin has returned from the  grave and is young again.

On the other hand, the new Lomelin is his own man as a torero, as other blogs have noted  While much in his style resembles the famous father, there are other elements uniquely his own.

He is not just Antonio Lomelin...son of a great torero...but Antonio Lomelin, period, as far as this generation goes.

Again, the bullfighting world wishes him luck in his chosen trade and may he too, become a figura.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Barnaby Conrad Dies

American bullfight writer, Barnaby Conrad, passed away this February.

Conrad wrote two novels about bullfighting, The Innocent Villa and Matador.

He also wrote several nonfiction books about the same, including How To Fight A Bull, La Fiesta Brava and Encyclopedia of Bullfighting.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tucson's El Torero

Bull bars and restaurants are common in Spain, but America has a handful of them as well.

One such place is the Torero at 231 E 26th Street in Tucson, Arizona.

A fine place to dine, with bullfighting decorations.

Worth a visit....

Friday, February 1, 2013

Padilla: The Rage Carries On

Padilla took Mexico  by storm. There is no denying that one. Few, in recent memory, have been able to match his rage in front of the horns and his raw determination to triumph. The goring that would have destroyed a lesser man has made him a  bullfighting super hero.

One can only imagine the triumphs that await him when he returns to Spain and to wish him well.

Fuerza Padilla! Padilla, si!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!