The Plaza Mexico will organize a cycle of six events called "La Reapertura" with two bullfights, three novilladas, and one of rejoneo, from October 30 to December 12. After a year and 9 months of inactivity, the largest bullfighting ring in the world, La Plaza Mexico, presented Friday the schedule for the reactivation. There will be six festivities in which health protocols will be complied with and the capacity limits will be respected, both measures derived from the health emergency to fight the covid-19 pandemic.
The program of events will combine bullfights and heifers. This mixed concept will not only cover the two storylines of the season in the bullring of the Mexican capital but will also ensure the presence of the protagonists of the current Aztec bullfighting scene, the novilleros (young bullfighters) who have been winners in recent years in Spain and Mexico. The novillero Diego San Roman is the great protagonist of the cycle because La Mexico has organized his alternative with Antonio Ferrera as the godfather and Morante de la Puebla as a witness on December 12 in the so-called Corrida Guadalupana, the star of the cycle.
San Román triumphed in Spain and Mexico before the pandemic and his career is being watched over with zeal. His alternative was left up in the air and his performances on hold while waiting for health regulations to allow his presence in one of Mexico's main bullrings. He was not seen in the peripheral plazas that have kept bullfighting activity alive during the pandemic.
Also, the presence of the novillero Miguel Aguilar underpins the bullring company's commitment to young talent. Aguilar was the great pre-pandemic winner of the Insurgentes bullring, being able to go out through the big door on two consecutive occasions. Another novillero included in the posters of La Reapertura is Alejandro Adame who left good sensations in his recent presentation at the Feria de Otoño of the Plaza de Las Ventas in Madrid.
A schedule with several absences
Isaac Fonseca is conspicuously absent. The young novillero recently finished a triumphant Spanish season. Two other absences stand out from the bullfighting bill at La Mexico. Those of Mexican bullfighters Joselito Adame and Jose Mauricio. Both swordsmen are regulars in the bullring and even flagship matadors of the bullring. Their non-appearance coincides with their involvement in the Texcoco bullfighting events, which take place on similar dates and are only 40 kilometers from the Plaza Mexico.
Finally, the presence of Antonio Ferrera and Morante de la Puebla, the only Spaniards who will perform in this reactivation of the Plaza Mexico, stands out. The proposal includes a bullfight with the Mexican Emiliano Gamero and the Spaniard Andy Cartagena. As for the selected irros (bulls), the selected bulls are very much to the liking of La Mexico in its most commercial afternoons, such as Bernaldo de Quiros, Fernando de la Mora, or Jaral de Peñas, among others.
Saturday, October 3: Corrida Nocturna de Las Luces. Uriel Moreno "El Zapata", Ernesto Javier "Calita", Juan Pablo Sánchez, Sergio Flores, Luis David and Leo Valadez with bulls from Rancho Seco, José María Arturo Huerta, Jaral de Peñas, Pozo Hondo, Los Encinos and La Joya.
Sunday, November 14: First Re-opening Novillada. Miguel Aguilar, Eduardo Neyra and the presentation of Alejandro Adame, who will fight Jaral de Peñas bulls.
Sunday, November 21: Second Reopening Novillada. Héctor Gutiérrez, Sebastián Ibelles and Julián Garibay will fight Marrón bulls.
Sunday, November 28: Corrida de Rejones. Domecq Equestrian Show "Mexico Mil Colores" with Symphony Orchestra. Andy Cartagena and Emiliano Gamero, who will be accompanied by Los Forcados Amadores de México to fight bulls from Julio Delgado and La Estancia.
Sunday, December 5: Third Reopening Novillada. José Miguel Arellano, Juan Pedro Llaguno and the presentation of José Alberto Ortega, who will fight a novillada de Caparica.
Sunday, December 12: Guadalupana Reopening Bullfight. Antonio Ferrera, Morante de la Puebla, Diego Silveti and Diego San Roman who takes the alternative to fight bulls of Fernando de la Mora and Bernaldo de Quiros.
Huamantlada: Bullfighting in Mexico
Bullfighting passion crosses borders, and in Mexico, there is a town where bullfights and the running of the bulls are the hallmarks of patron saint fiestas in the purest Spanish style. It is the "Huamantlada" in the central state of Tlaxcala. The third fireworks mark the beginning of the Huamantlada. It is 11 a.m. (16.00 GMT) and under the powerful rays of the sun 17 caste bulls take to the streets before the curious gaze of thousands of locals and visitors. They have been waiting for up to two hours for the beginning of this spectacle.
"We arrived very early to set aside place because it is a party where thousands of people congregate. We got an excellent place to enjoy this brave party," says to Efe Orlando Nava, who arrived in the morning with his wife and two daughters.
About 100,000 people come to this event dressed for the occasion: red handkerchief tied to the neck, waist girdle, and the most daring do not hesitate to wear hats with horns and all kinds of accessories. In a closed circuit of 17 streets is carried out the traditional street race with a bull in each street. Professionals from the bullfighting world and amateurs take advantage of this event to "make their pins" in the world of bullfighting.
In general, the participants who are at the foot of the street seek to run in front of the brave bull, touch it, or, with improvised hoods, bullfight it. Others see the bulls "from behind the barrier". Minutes before the explosion of the first firecracker Gerardo, originally from Puebla, says that every year, for the last five years, he comes to the Huamantlada home of a "compadre" to see the show.
There is no lack of the reckless one who, with a few too many drinks, jumps into the "street ring" pretending to be a first-rate matador. The result is, at best, minor injuries and contusions; at worst, death. For this, there are lists in the vicinity of the streets of downtown Huamantla 40 ambulances, 100 paramedics, 20 doctors, and the orthopedic service of Huamantla Hospital on alert with a specialized surgeon.
This year, nine people between the ages of 13 and 60 have been reported injured, one of them seriously, with a goring in the thorax. "We recommend that they do not enter the circuit in an ethylic state," says Cristian Salazar, who has been part of the Huamantlada for 10 years as a supporting caporal. Its function is to release the bull, keep it at the end and return it to the livestock.
His love for bulls made him an active part of this show. Two years ago he suffered a goring of which he still has scars. "When I was holding the bull it defeated me in the race and reached me and the horn entered, in the left leg. It was a goring of 15 centimeters high, 8 internal points and 15 external ones" he says. A stuffed bull in the middle of the street attracts the attention of visitors, who do not hesitate to immortalize the moment.
"Listening to many tourists we decided to build a bull and present it in the streets representing the Huamantlada so that people can take pictures without the risk of being gored, an accident" declares Elizabeth Zapata Ángeles, owner of the stuffed bull. In the Huamantlada, improvised mockers along the streets, platforms made sometimes by the same neighbors or boards that serve as seats, prove every year that miracles exist.
August, no doubt, is for those fortunate enough to live or have venues on the streets of the circuit. Depending on the place, whether it is on the street, on the roof of a house, or the balcony or windows, the price to see the show ranges from 50 to 200 pesos (two to 10 dollars). The origin of the Huamantlada goes back to 1954 when Raúl González, a cattleman from Tlaxcala, traveled to Spain together with a matador and visited the running of the bulls of Pamplona in San Fermín. Gonzalez began this tradition in Huamantla on his return.
At first, the bulls ran through the streets to the Plaza de Toros, where hours later the bullfight was held. Given the massification of the event, in 1967 it was established that the running of the bulls was not the same as those of the bullfight. From that moment on, the so-called "Pamplonada" is called "Huamantlada". The bullfighting tradition came to Tlaxcala with the Spaniards. It is the smallest state in Mexico and the one with the most cattle ranches, with 48 in total, in addition to 6 bullfighting schools that drive the passion for the fiesta brava.