#YoMeQuedoEnCasaToros, the virus ruthlessly cornea bullfighting | Blog The bull, by the horns


The bullfighting sector is on the sand, shocked, exhausted and badly hurt; and is not for less. The unexpected somersault has been dramatic, and the goring, brutal and frightful, in such a way that fear, anguish and anguish have taken over all its protagonists.

Suddenly and bludgeonly, when the season was about to open its cloak in Valencia, the virus, which unfortunately about 1,500 people have already been killed, He made her ugly in the first attack and launched her into the air; and after the suspension of the Fallas fair, the contagion reached La Magdalena de Castellón. And days later, it was confirmed that Seville was left without the April Fair.

Nothing is officially known yet, but it is not hidden from anyone that the San Isidro Fair, scheduled between May 12 and June 14, is in the air, and the businessman of Las Ventas, Simón Casas, has preferred to keep Silence when this newspaper has asked for your opinion because “when a health tragedy occurs that affects the whole of society,” he said, “you have to think generally before exposing personal or sectoral problems.” And between collateral victims The fairs of San Jorge in Zaragoza, the San Pedro Regalado in Valladolid, the Jerez de la Frontera, the Córdoba fair, are already in the queue for more than probable suspensions. sanfermines? Anyone knows.

The coronavirus has ruthlessly battered the first fairs of the year, and bullfighting is prey to uncertainty, desolation, resignation …

“Untreated 5-year-old bulls can mean losses of between 6 and 10 million euros”

The serious question is that it is not known how long the convalescence will last. But it is clear to all those affected that this cultural sector exists – despite the fact that some ignore it when they write a balance sheet on cultural losses due to the pandemic – that it will continue to exist and will come back strongly after a long period of darkness.

The festival of the bulls lives difficult times, but also full of hope; This is the general opinion among bullfighting.

The economic losses are considerable and affect, in one way or another, all those involved in the show: first, the ranchers; later, to the businessmen who have already invested in the organization of the first fairs, to the gold and silver bullfighters and to all the people who participate from the pastures and the plaza in the shows.

Diego Sánchez de la Cruz, university professor and promoter of The Bull Economy, calculates that “in the field there are between 1,000 and 2,000 bulls with an age close to five years, and if they are not dealt with before they turn six, at which point they can no longer step on the bullring, livestock losses can range from 6 and the 10 million euros ”. (Raising a bull costs between 4,000 and 5,000 euros, to which should be added another 1,000 for the time they will have to remain in the field due to the pandemic).

Paseíllo in the bullring of Las Ventas.


Paseíllo in the bullring of Las Ventas.

Regarding the economic impact of the suspended bullfighting fairs, the data offered by Sánchez de la Cruz are as follows: Fallas, 6 million euros; La Magdalena, 5; Arles, 7; the April Fair, 12, and adds the losses of San Isidro, 25 million euros. “To these amounts should be added,” he concludes, “the sections corresponding to the tourism sector (hotels, restaurants, transport, etc., which in the case of Madrid alone represent about 45 million euros more).”

“The bull, unlike other cultural industries, does not have any help in the General Budgets, nor does it rely on sponsors who help defray the high production costs, palliated only with what enters the box office,” he declared to Efe the farmer and president of the Fundación del Toro de Lidia (FLT), Victorino Martín.

Carlos Núñez, president of the Union of Bull Breeders of Lidia (UCTL), affirms that the farmers will suffer “fatal consequences” for the “weak” economy of their farms, many of them also threatened by the loss “of unrecoverable genetic heritage and of biodiversity “.

For all these reasons, the FTL has requested an urgent appointment with the Minister of Culture, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, to launch contingency, recovery and support plans for the industry as soon as possible.

“The 2020 season does not have to end in October”

Another letter has sent the minister the National Association of Organizers of Bullfighting Shows (ANOET), chaired by Simón Casas, in which they request that “necessary actions” be carried out to help the sector. And they hope that the bullfighting company can take advantage of the package of urgent economic measures approved by the Government to alleviate the effects of the pandemic.

The minister has promptly replied to the FTL to convey its solidarity with the world of bullfighting and its willingness to discuss with the sector plans for aid to the cultural industry.

“We can only wait for the meeting of the Fundación del Toro de Lidia (FTL) with the Minister of Culture. We cannot do anything else,” said David Prados, secretary general of the National Union of Spanish Picadores and Banderilleros (UNPBE) .

For his part, Carlos Zúñiga, businessman in the squares of Zaragoza, Gijón, Zamora, Aranjuez and Colmenar Viejo, affirms that he feels “strange, worried and hopeful at the same time”. “Sitting on the sofa, in full alarm, I see everything very black,” he continues, “but I think bullfighting has so much strength that, when this hubbub passes, everything will be as before.”

Roberto García Yuste, president of the Madrid El Toro Association, considers that many shows can be recovered. “The 2020 season does not have to end in October, and dates of November could be enabled to celebrate bullfights,” he argues.

The representative of the most demanding fans of Las Ventas also launches a new proposal: “Why can’t you fight six-year-old bulls? Culture should accept this exception to the Regulation in order to mitigate the economic effects of this situation on the ranchers ”.

Regarding the duration of bullfighting paralysis, Diego Sánchez de la Cruz estimates that “until July it will not be possible to resume activity”. “The forecasts of the Community of Madrid,” he continues, “say that until the first of May there will not be a favorable change in the pandemic, so that the number of those infected is lower than that of recovered patients, which would mean that postponing the celebration of the festivities until the summer and extending the season beyond October 12. ”

On the contrary, García Yuste hopes that the San Isidro fair can be recovered in late May and June.

It is clear that everything is at the expense of the evolution of the disease. The damage is done and will be largely unrecoverable despite good intentions. All the suspended celebrations will not be able to be celebrated from the summer, without that some fairs coincide with others and subtract protagonism.

“Our most immediate future will depend on what comes out of the meeting requested from the minister,” concludes Victorino Martín.

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