Good afternoon everyone: President of the Community of Madrid, fans, teachers, friends... thank you for sharing with us this ABC Bullfighting Awards ceremony.
Within its liberal respect for the plurality of ideas, this newspaper has always defended, independently and rigorously, its fidelity to a series of basic values: love for Spain, freedom and the defense of Spanish culture. This also includes bullfighting, a hallmark of our culture and a symbol of Spain.
Bullfighting has no ideology: it belongs to the entire Spanish people, to all those who freely choose to be fans. Rafael Alberti himself proclaimed it, in his verses: «The black bull of Spain, / because all of Spain is him».
Nor is it a matter of personal taste, all respectable. Nobody can be forced to appreciate the poetry of San Juan de la Cruz, Zurbarán's painting, Berlanga's cinema or flamenco. The same happens with bullfighting, to which, at the end of the 19th century, the Count de las Navas dedicated a book with the title "The most national spectacle".
Whether or not to go to a bullfighting show that, as recognized by law, forms part of our intangible cultural heritage, is a matter of freedom. Only ignorance and sectarianism can ignore their contribution to the Spanish ecology, economy and culture.
Unlike some media, which have given up giving news, ABC has always tried to give bullfighting the attention and respect it undoubtedly deserves, with adequate and timely information; with the contribution of great critics; and with the literary collaborations of illustrious firms that, in our pages, have dealt with our Festival with the height and brilliance it deserves.
Today we have the fortune, although due to the sad circumstance of having to live through a pandemic, to jointly deliver the prizes, corresponding to the twelfth and thirteenth edition.
As you know, the Prize is not necessarily awarded to the successful winner of the season or to the one with the most trophies, but it can also distinguish a particularly relevant bullfighting event.
This is the reason why, for the twelfth edition, the Jury, made up of professionals and great fans, whom I thank for their selfless collaboration, agreed to recognize the extraordinary work of the bullfighting surgeons, who, as the minutes say, «with his scientific wisdom and exemplary delivery, save the lives of so many bullfighters ». I am sure that no good fan will question the fairness and opportunity of this award.
Hence the decisive importance of the work carried out by bullfighting surgeons, true saviors of bullfighters; according to the cliché admitted by all, his authentic «guardian angels».
The ABC Award wants to recognize the work of all bullfighting surgeons, those from the big and small squares, the justly famous and the less popular, We also want to highlight the great work of the Spanish Society of Bullfighting Surgery, which periodically organizes scientific meetings and improvement courses and that he has achieved that his specialty entered a course for the first time, at the University of Valencia.
But, as the award must be given to someone, the prize will be collected, with all the merits, by the chief surgeon of Madrid's Plaza de las Ventas, Mr. Máximo García Padrós, and that of the Zaragoza arena of Misericordia, Mr. Carlos Val -Careers. Like some right-handers, both are "dynasty" doctors. Congratulations to both.
Entering this thirteenth edition of the ABC Bullfighting Award, the jury has decided to award it for the second time to the bullfighter José Antonio Morante de la Puebla.
In the award certificate, the Jury justified it by "its responsibility as the first figure in bullfighting and its commitment to the Festival", which have been translated into a series of indisputable points: "the special attention to the three thirds and the direction of Lidia; deal with cattle of different encastes, in squares of different categories; and his memorable artistic endeavors».
Last season, Morante was the leader in the number of bullfights, 49, from the beginning, in Vista Alegre, to the end, in Arenas de San Pedro. It is not usual for the leader to be a right-hander of the most artistic line; nor, that he accepts to deal with cattle of different encastes, with the added uncertainty that this supposes.
As the first figures have always done, Morante has wanted to compete with the emerging right-handers and fight in large and small squares, without shying away from the commitment of the main Fairs. In an especially difficult moment, due to the pandemic, Morante was not relieved but chose the attitude of "pulling the Fiesta car". In addition, he put on memorable tasks in the two most demanding arenas, Seville, in San Miguel, and Madrid, in the Autumn Fair. For this reason, he has aroused renewed enthusiasm in audiences throughout Spain.
Already in 2016, the Jury praised him "for the purity of his style, with classical roots, which has been the happiest expression of bullfighting as art." The fans, who were well aware of his aesthetic qualities, now appreciate his responsibility, and his attitude of commitment to the Fiesta, following the example of his highly admired Joselito el Gallo. The defense of bullfighting as an art is much easier when it is practiced by artists of their category.
Congratulations to the bullfighting surgeons and José Antonio Morante de la Puebla and many thanks to our sponsors: Community of Madrid, Nautalia and Plaza 1; and to our collaborators: Dehesa de los Canónigos and Fisán, for their express support of these Awards and the Festival. Allow me to say goodbye, reiterating ABC's firm commitment to continue defending Bullfighting; that is, the Spanish culture.
Thank you very much