Thursday, December 22, 2011

War Horse

The bull scored a few points at the plaza de toros in Morelia last weekend, which is sure to delight the anti-bullfighting crowds out there, except that it came at the expense of rejoneador Diego Ventura's horse, "Revuelo" - a name that means "commotion," so extra points for irony.

It's hard to tell from this angle (this one is better, if more cringe-inducing) whether it was the initial fall or the subsequent goring that did the most damage, but the horse eventually limped off (to a nice round of applause) to the veterinarian, where the standard treatment for all equine ailments was administered. Though Ventura, who'll be in Querétaro on Christmas Day, has been doing this for 15 years, this is only the second horse he's lost, a testament to his great skill as a rider. The front page of his website, however, is hard to describe without using the word "gay" in the pejorative sense teenagers sometimes use it.

Seriously, for what reason would it be a good idea to do this in water?

Back in the old days, horses had it even worse, since the picador's horses weren't covered in leather mattresses like they are today, and the whole idea was for the bull to gore them.  Even Ernest Hemingway starts his Death in the Afternoon with: "At the first bullfight I ever went to I expected to be horrified and perhaps sickened by what I had been told would happen to the horses."  Of course, Papa being Papa, he was totally cool with it by the third page of his 517-page book. 

(As we were searching for that quote, we came across the book's review in the Sept. 25, 1932, New York Times, which we link to here just for the hell of it.)

Since the year is almost over, and the only other serious competitor is the Querétaro White Cocks's Manuel López, who scored the winning own-goal in the Mexican League semifinals, we're going to just go ahead and name Revuelo the Horse the 2011 Burro Hall Sportsman of the Year, the first posthumous non-human recipient in the award's illustrious history.  Vaya con Dios, caballo!

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