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There was a time when Valdemorillo was associated with cold and, on occasions, blizzard and snow. It was a customary image to open the bullfighting year with coats, scarves and ear muffs, with a blanket between the legs and a thermos full of coffee in the hands to help mitigate the icy mountain weather.
The older locals, and the most deeply rooted aficionados, remember every year, when San Blas approaches, those fairs in the portable bullring, with an attire more typical of a ski resort than of a bullring. But 20 years ago something began to change in the landscape of this Madrid town. The sheet metal of the prefabricated bullring gave way to cement, and to a permanent building.
Five years later, the bullring, with its wide accesses and comfortable seats, had a roof installed, was fitted with heating inside and equipped with the best advances for watching a bullfight in the most comfortable way possible. And, as a result, the range and quality of the bullfighting events also increased.
However, since 2020, when the UTE Pueblos del Toreo and Circuitos Taurinos, or in other words, Víctor Zabala de la Serna and Carlos Zúñiga began to manage the bullring of La Candelaria, the level of the combinations experienced a new turn of the screw, and, suddenly, a previously unknown species landed in Valdemorillo: Las Figuras. (the best bullfighters in spain are called "figuras")
Morante in 2022 was the great attraction of the season, and the main "culprit" of this new trend. Perera, Cayetano, Luque and in this edition Alejandro Talavante are bullfighters who have also made the paseíllo at the foot of the Valmayor reservoir, during the month of February, to start their season, coinciding with the festival of San Blas.
Talavante's presentation is one of the main attractions of the 2024 fair. The bullfighter from Extremadura has been announced for Saturday 10th February to fight a bull run by Núñez del Cuvillo together with Ginés Marín, a mature and capable bullfighter, who is just one step away from joining the elite of the bullfighting ranks, and Juan Ortega, the winner of last year's fair, who returns to Valdemorillo with the intention of bringing out the paint box once again.
The following day (Sunday 11) Miguel Ángel Perera will be back for the third consecutive year (he opened the Puerta Grande on the two previous occasions), and will act as godfather to Guillermo García Pulido. The young novillero trained at the Escuela de Madrid will be the third matador to receive the doctor's tassel in this bullring, which he left on his shoulders in 2023, a magical year for him in which he managed, among other achievements, to cut two ears in Madrid and win the prestigious Alfarero de Oro de Villaseca de la Sagra. Paco Ureña, another top matador, who is also making his debut in the Madrid bullring, completes a line-up which includes a top-quality bullfight with the Alcurrucén bull-ranch.
On Friday the 9th, a novillada from La Cercada, a new breed of bulls, formed with Domecq seed via El Freixo, which has been successful in the last few years, will open with Ismael Martín from Salamanca, a capable and versatile novillero who is a protagonist in all thirds of the bullfight, The Valencian Nek Romero, the latest hope of the Levantine fans, and Samuel Navalón, also from Valencia, although trained at the Bullfighting School of Albacete, called to be one of the main protagonists of the season in the lower ranks.
Valdemorillo once again kicks off the bullfighting season. The bullfighting returns, and the season takes on colour, the spark is ignited and the flame is lit... in the heat of the canopy.
José Miguel Arruego
Bullfighting programme Valdemorillo Fair (Madrid)