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It had not happened in 35 years. After barely an hour of action, a bullfight in Madrid's prestigious Las Ventas ring was stopped because all three of the bullfighters on the day’s bill had been injured.
Two matadors were gored and a third was tossed into the air.
The first torero, David Mora, was still being treated in a Madrid hospital Wednesday and remains listed in “very serious condition.” The other two bullfighters – Antonio Nazaré and Saúl Jiménez Fortes – were expected to be discharged shortly.
In their report, the doctors left no doubts about the severity of Mora’s injuries: “Two wounds, one in the inside of the left thigh, measuring around 30 centimeters, which has pulled the femoral artery out of place; another in the left armpit measuring 10 centimeters, which has damaged the vascular nerve bundle and reached the humerus. Prognosis: very serious,” concluded the report published by El País newspaper.
However, it was Jiménez Fortes’ performance the most jaw-dropping and bloodiest. After just seconds of coming out, El País reports, Jiménez was flipped into the air as he passed his cape over the bull.
He managed to emerge unscathed, but the gorings and falls kept on coming.
“As he raised his sword, ready for the kill, the bull caught his chest with its head, bouncing him up in the air for moments that felt like an eternity. He was able to walk out of the plaza, but with his breeches ripped apart, and a visibly limp,” El País eloquently notes.
The two bulls were "Deslio," a 532-kilogram (1,173-pound) beast from the El Ventorrillo breeding ranch, and the 537-kilogram (1,184-pound) "Feten" of the Los Chospes ranch.
Bullfighting is banned in many countries, with critics holding that it is a blood sport perpetrated as a cowardly act resulting in the suffering of bulls and horses.
Supporters, however, argue that it is a culturally important Spanish tradition and a fully developed art form. Bloodless variations are permitted and have attracted a following in California, Texas and France.