BAD REPORT CARD FOR THE 2002-FERIA DE SEVIlLA
by Mario Carrión


The prestigious Spanish newspaper ABC titled an article reviewing the Feria de Sevilla, published on April 23, as the 'The Worst Feria of the Last Few Years". The article went on to point out the unimpressive performances of most of the matadors, especially those of the figuras, and how few trophies they earned in their appearances. It also mentioned the lack of quality of the bast majority of the bulls fought in the feria. ABC's criticism seems objective when we consider the quantitative results of the events.

The feria program consisted of 16 regular corridas, 2 rejoneo corridas and 1 novillada in which 31 matadors, 3 novilleros and 8 rejoneadores took part. José Tomás, "El Juli" and Eduardo Dávila Miura performed in three corridas each. Eduardo was supposed to appear in only two corridas, but fought one more substituting for Paco Ojeda, who bailed out because he disliked the bulls scheduled for that corrida. Fernando Cépeda, Enrique Ponce, Pepín Liria, Manuel Caballero, Víctor Puerto, "Joselito", "Finito de Córdoba", Eugenio de Mora,, Ortega Cano, Rivera Ordóńez, and Juan José Padilla appeared in two corridas; and Luis de Pauloba, Pepe Luis Vázquez, Paco Ojeda, "El Cordobés", Antonio Manuel Punta, "El Zotoluco", Oscar Higares, "El Califa", Antonio Ferrera, Miguel Abellán, "El Cid", Alfonso Romero, Jesús Millán, Javier Castańo, Antonio Barrera, "El Fandi", and Rafael de Julia only participated in one corrida each. Together, the 31 matadors were able to obtain a total of only 7 orejas of the 96 animals they confronted. Dávila Miura cut three ears, Caballero, Liría, "El Juli", Eugenio de Mora each cut one ear. Fernando Cépeda "Finito de Córdoba", Punta, "El Cid" y Abellán were rewarded with a vuelta after completing one of their faenas, , although they did not obtain any ear. The remaining 78 performances were judged by the crowd in the following way: 14 with negatives showing displeasure, 35 with neutral silence, and 29 with more or less sounding applause.

The bull breeders also deserved the criticism of the aficionados and the mass media, since many of their animals brought to the Maestranza lacked bravery, strength and mobility, which made it almost impossible for the matadors to perform with psitive results. Some of these bulls also presented more than the usual danger for their matadors, causing them injuries or tossing them into the air in spectacular fashion. The experienced matadors Ortega Cano, Enrique Ponce, and Eugenio de Mora were gored, and José Tomás, "El Cordobés", Pepín Liría and "El Juli" were also trapped by their opponents, but escaped with only bruises The rather mediocre exhibition of bravery and strength by most of the bulls motivated the juries giving the most important trophies of the feria to withhold the 'best bull breeder' prize. But, since there is always an exception to the rule, there was "Ojito", an extraordinary bull of "Torrestrella', so brave and good that the juries had to recognize the animal as ' the bravest bull of the feria'. It was fought by Dávila Miura and, with this animal, he performed the most beautiful and complete faena of the feria.

The same selecting committees also granted trophies to Hermoso de Mendoza, 'best rejoneador'; Manuel Montiel, 'best picador'; and Curro Molina, 'best placing of banderillas', and 'best banderillero'. Nevertheless, matador Eduardo Dávila Miura was the real winner of the feria since before his appearance in the feria he was perceived just as an honest brave matador struggling to keep his career alive by entering in the carteles with the hard corridas, and he left Seville with an enhanced reputation. In his three performances, Eduardo cut three ears, left he plaza on the shoulders in his second appearance, and earned all 'overall best performer' and 'best faena' prizes granted at the conclusion of the feria on April 21. A few days later, on May 9, Eduardo continued on the path of success he found in Seville by cutting three ears in a corrida at the Feria del Caballo in Jerez, Cadiz, and earning another 'best matador' trophy. Obviously for Dávila Miura his success in Seville was not a fluke, but was a starting point on the road to stardom.

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