Spain's San Isidro bullfighting festival suspended after three matadors injured

Photo: Spain's San Isidro bullfighting festival suspended after three matadors injured / Arab World

Suspension is first in 35 years after two bulls turn tables on all three matadors on programme, leaving one with serious injuries, the Guardian reported.

Half-tonne fighting bulls gored or trampled all three matadors in an extraordinary upset at Madrid's prestigious Las Ventas bullring, forcing the spectacle to be cancelled.

For the first time in 35 years, the San Isidro festival, which opens the bullfighting season in Spain, had to be suspended because all the matadors had been injured.

"Drama in Las Ventas" ran the front page headline of conservative ABC daily over a full-page photograph of a bull plunging its right horn into the side of the most seriously injured matador, David Mora.

Spanish media devoted widespread coverage to the turning of the tables at Las Ventas.

"The festival had to be suspended ... because of the gorings suffered by the three matadors," the venue said in a statement.

"In the 68-year history of San Isidro, two bullfights have been suspended for gorings of matadors, both in 1979," it said.

The first bull on the programme, a black, 532kg animal named Deslio, knocked Mora over during a pass as his yellow and pink cape swirled in the wind.

Mora fell to the sand beneath his cloak, but the bull immediately turned on him, head down, ramming its horn deep into his leg and tossing him over repeatedly.

"The somersault was horrific, shocking, chilling, impossible for the human eye to witness yet evident to the mind," wrote Antonio Lorca, bullfighting correspondent for the El País newspaper.

Mora suffered a 30cm gash in the thigh and another wound in the armpit, a medical report from the bullring said.

The venue's surgeon, Maximo Garcia Padros, reportedly said Mora had needed a blood transfusion during a two-hour operation.

"The goring in the femoral vein placed his life in danger. If you don't act it empties like an open tap, but that's why we are here," he said.

The second matador, Antonio Nazare, appeared before the shocked audience to finish off the animal with his sword.

Nazare then faced his own opponent, however, a 537kg brown bull named Feten. The animal dragged the matador along the sand, injuring his knee and forcing him to seek treatment at the bullring's hospital, the medical report showed.

The third matador, Saúl Jiménez Fortes, entered the ring to fight the same bull. The animal skewered him in the right leg and the pelvis, leaving three 10cm-deep injuries, the bullring doctor said. Fortes managed to kill the beast before he, too, sought medical treatment.

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