Once again, the ABC Bullfighting award ceremony has been a great bullfighting party, with the presence of prominent representatives of all its sectors: bullfighters, ranchers, attorneys, businessmen, fans... It has taken place at the end of a Fair de San Isidro in which, despite the attacks it is receiving right now, the National Holiday has confirmed its great vitality, its ability to attract young people.
This time, in addition, the award ceremony was held with the added joy of returning to normality. Due to the pandemic, a year was left blank and now the delivery of two awards has been joined: number XII, awarded to bullfighting surgeons, who, as the Jury's minutes say, "with their scientific wisdom and exemplary dedication, they save the lives of so many bullfighters.”
And the number XIII, corresponding to the 2021 season, to the right-hander Morante de la Puebla -who had already obtained it in 2016-, for "his responsibility as the first figure of bullfighting and his commitment to the Fiesta", which have been manifested in " the special attention to the three thirds and the leadership of Lidia; deal with cattle of different encastes, in squares of different categories, and for their memorable artistic tasks».
The event, led by Elena Sánchez, was opened by Ignacio Ybarra, president of Vocento, underlining «ABC's fidelity to basic values: love for Spain, defense of freedom and Spanish culture. This also includes, without a doubt, bullfighting, a clear hallmark of our culture».
It is not a matter of taste but of freedom, something much more important: «We must all defend the freedom to attend or not a show that, as recognized by law, is part of our intangible cultural heritage. Only ignorance and sectarianism can ignore their contribution to the Spanish ecology, economy and culture».
For her part, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of the Community of Madrid – which has sponsored this award, along with Nautalia and Plaza 1 – has stated that “every bull that goes out to the Plaza is a metaphor for life. Bullfighting festivities have always been a symbol of Hispanic identity and coexistence. In addition to reiterating the commitment of the Community of Madrid to support the Festival, he pointed out that, in the recent San Isidro, "Las Ventas has once again amazed the world", to conclude with a blunt phrase: "The tradition of the bulls it is still very much alive because it is the same as the art of living».
I don't think many fans would dispute the fairness and opportunity of these two awards. In the first case, the jury insisted that it wanted to recognize the work of all the surgeons, those from the large and small squares, the famous and the less popular. On behalf of everyone, it was collected by the two mentioned in the minutes, Carlos Val-Carreres, from Plaza de Zaragoza, and Máximo García Padrós, from Plaza de Las Ventas.
With his usual simplicity and sincerity, Padilla touched all the attendees: «I still remember the words I said to Dr. Val-Carreres when, suffocating, life was slipping away from me in that infirmary in Zaragoza: 'Don Carlos, please! God! Do it for my wife and children, save me!' They were the last words I thought I had uttered and, twenty-four hours after that tragic moment, I woke up in the ICU, giving encouragement to my relatives and thanking those Guardian Angels, who performed the feat of bringing me back to life» .
In thanking the award, Dr. Val-Carreres has involved the surgical teams of all the bullrings and recalled his family background: «I belong to a family of general surgeons with four generations of professional practice in Zaragoza, having as one part of our work is the assistance to the wounded in the Plaza de Toros de La Misericordia; successively, over more than a hundred years, we have all operated in the infirmary of the old Zaragoza bullring».
Dr. Máximo García Padrós also wanted to remember his teachers, including his father, Dr. García de la Torre. In addition, he has mentioned some recent achievements of the surgeons: the creation of the Spanish Society of Bullfighting Surgery, the changes in the bullfighting regulations to improve the infirmaries, the specialization courses for the new doctors... He has not forgotten to thank « to our families, to whom we have sacrificed so many days, many on holidays, and who have experienced our efforts and concerns».
In the case of Morante de la Puebla, very recently he has performed, in the recent Charity bullfight, in front of King Don Felipe, an extraordinary task: one more than he is lavishing in his current stage of fullness and maturity. The president of the Community of Madrid and the president of Vocento have given him the award.
In his words of thanks, Morante has also been faithful to his personality. He has recalled how, at the beginning of last season, chatting with his friend Pedro (now his manager), he had told him that he felt the need to "take charge, the fans had to be encouraged." For this reason, he began by announcing his intention to fight Miuras for the first time: «Just advertising with those bulls is already scary. That was a statement of intent. And, at such a difficult time for so many breeders, I wanted to support the diversity of encastes, which make our Festival so great».
In the video that had just been shown, together with images of the bullfighter, a series of beautiful words appeared, which attempted to approach the mystery of art. When asked by Elena Sánchez which of those words she identified with the most, Morante replied that he liked them all but he chose one: “Honesty”. Inspired by his highly admired Joselito, he wanted to «convince the greatest number of fans. That is why, for me, it has been a fundamental year». He has concluded the right-hander by thanking this award and also the work of ABC, "the newspaper that devotes the most attention to the world of bullfighting."
After the speeches, the friendly talks continued in the ABC garden: about bulls, of course. In all, a double common denominator: the joy for the return to normality and the defense of our Party.
Once again, ABC has remained true to its strong commitment to a set of values. Ignacio Ybarra summed it up bluntly, at the end of his words: «Continue defending Bullfighting; that is, to Spanish culture».