a job from start to finish

Estepona and its endless municipal term like a redundancy that travels from Manilva to Marbella. Twenty-three kilometers of coastlinewith a heavenly climate, opportune gastronomy and coveted peace. With a historic center in an enviable state of conservation and one of the best seafront promenades urbanized throughout Andalusia. Successions of beaches like the silent carriage of an AVE: without music, without ball games, without the bell of the street vendors at siesta time… A kind of foreign soil in one’s own territory. Or one’s own soil in a foreign territory. The Germans who mix with the Spanish and the Spanish who mix with the Americans. And the Arabs, and the Dutch. One arrives in this universal land and looks at life, and bullfighting, in a different way. Something like this would happen to Jose Tomasthe town’s most illustrious resident for a quarter of a century. Twenty-five years in which he went from heaven to enigma, and from enigma to cult. Where he was born your sonthe boy who is already on the path to adolescence and who this Sunday went to see his idol. Whose name is Andrés and his last name is Roca Rey.

The son of the myth who idolizes another bullfighter, today elevated to the highest power, who already knows him and who went in search of him on the return to the ring to give him a tail. One of the five trophies of his exuberant afternoon –four ears and a tail–, which could have been six with a more indulgent box. This was the afternoon that we demanded so much from the great Peruvian figure, stripped of artifice to demonstrate the breadth of its concept. And its capacity. Fresh and forceful in a full faena from beginning to end. Without downtime, without interruptions. From the moment he gathered himself between passes until he remembered Ordóñez, the master who put this square on the map, in one of those mythical corner thrusts. He had before his lucid stance an exceptional animal from the family Matillaanonymous like his five brothers, without a bullfighting order or a tablet with which to know the name of a bull that deserved to remain in our memory.

His name was not Caramelnor did it resemble –in type, of course– the already legendary animal that on Easter Sunday lay down in the corrals of the Maestranza and on Easter Monday galloped through the fields of Salamanca. This was a tight and small-faced bull that at the first pass he got excited with a sublime styleRoca rounded it off between throws until in an excess He tried the impossible: a changed pass from behind with the cape held in one hand by the cape. With Anonymous stopped at his feet, on the verge of taking it –we don’t know if it was the cape or the white and silver–. A performance that maintained the balance between the triumphant and the passionate. Like in that long reverse of the quite, slow and with a lot of class. Like in his start on his knees, suggestive between changes; delivered when he turned to link two low rounds. With his chin stuck on his chest, with his whole body expressive. That’s how he fought this exceptional Anonymous, millimetric in touches, at the limit of distance, with his right foot and sunken expression. Even more meritorious with the left, when the animal lost zeal and opted for luquecinas, the only special effect of a bullfight with plenty of integrityAnother commotion was with the sixth, when the lights were already playing against him, or against the bull, the strongest of the bullfight, which he fixed with a dry touch and a correct decision.

That was exactly what Juan Ortega lacked.again Morante’s substitute, in front of the fifth, also uncertain with the shadows of the spotlights. A bull of tremendous importance that he seemed to understand at the beginning after an embroidered start with help but before which he ended up being overwhelmed: without taking his pulse and having been hooked and disarmed several times. An animal that asked for command, a dry touch and firmness of plants. Everything that was missing from the task: the bull’s momentum was lost and the torero’s initiative was blurred. Although Ortega’s most torero-like passages of the afternoon were – such as a half-veronica to the second, or a pair of aprons; such as those doblons, or the already mentioned ones helped from above – it must be remembered that The matador does not live on details.

It was an unquestionable merit that Castella with the first, a young bull with an indecorous presentation, which he fought with sublime smoothness and supreme composure. So much so that his ragged charge was transformed into a cast final process. The Frenchman was in close contact with him, as with the fourth, although exaggerated in timing.

Let this end of the chronicle serve to to recognize the businessman José Luis Lara for bringing this celebration in line with the category of the town of Estepona. A poster, identical in its design to that of Easter Sunday in Seville, which was presented before Ramón Valencia by those of the April Fair. Five months promoting bullfighting to make Estepona, once the weakest square on the Costa del Sol, the benchmark for the area. More than three quarters of the square is full on San Fermin day. And may it last!

  • Estepona bullring.
    Sunday, July 7, 2024. More than three quarters of the arena filled with 6,000 seats. Two hours and forty minutes of bullfighting. Bulls from the Matilla family were fought, with good background and enormous possibilities. 1st, (heifer) noble and cooperative; 2nd, lacking rhythm and drive; 3rd, brave, steady and with quality; 4th, with a background of bravery and nobility; 5th, brave and demanding; 6th, intermittent.
  • Sebastian Castella,
    of turquoise and gold. A warning between an almost complete and fallen thrust and four descabellos (ovation); a deep puncture and a thrust (two ears).
  • Juan Ortega,
    of leaf green and jet. Thrust (ear); two punctures and opposite thrust (palms).
  • Rock King,
    white and silver. Rinconera thrust (two ears and tail); thrust (two ears with strong request for the tail).
 
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