On the 28th June 2017, at 10 pm, the “Amadeu Augusto dos Santos” bullring, in Montijo, hosted an exceptional bullfight under its traditional Taurine Fair on the occasion of the São Pedro Festivities. It happened I was in Portugal at the time, and certainly wouldn’t miss one of the rare occasions to watch Diego Ventura performance. Not that I don’t like the other horsemen – I do, but both of the remaining I saw quite often, before.
The bulls came from “Canas Vigoroux” for António Telles, Diego Ventura and João Moura Jr., plus the groups of “Forcados Amadores do Montijo” and “Alcochete”, led by Ricardo Figueiredo and Nuno Santana respectively.
Personally, it was a privilege to see two masters of horseback bullfighting – both arguably the best at their own style, despite being so different: António Ribeiro Telles, coming from a dynasty of bullfighters, is a guardian of the classic, traditional, style and always performs honestly and correctly. If one wants to learn how it “should be done”, this is the man to watch.
On the other hand, Diego Ventura is a virtuoso, with incredible energy, who can bring and keep dynamics and effusion, even with boring bulls. He always has a new trick under his sleeve, being the way to approach the bull; to keep the connection between the bull and the horse; or a special horsemanship skill. Both didn’t disappoint on that evening. João Moura Jr. despite being on an, earlier stage on his career, also created good moments with courage and commitment.
As for the bulls, there has been the tendency to present burly animals, something that may be appealing to the eyes, but which doesn’t necessarily enhances the whole show. I prefer smaller, faster, “angry” bulls, though that seems to be going out of fashion. Let’s say that these ones didn’t disappoint, though there was certainly some room for improvement. Nonetheless it was one of the best bullfights I had the privilege to attend and hope to meet these horsemen anywhere soon.