|On March 27, a very special event took place at the very beautiful
Stevinson Praca de Toiros. On that date, a festival was held to
celebrate the 45th Anniversary of San Francisco’s Pena Taurina
Sol y Sombra. The cartel was made up of aficionados practicos Bruce
Hutton, Jim Verner, Mario Orlando, Michael Rauner, and Adam Thorpe,
who faced vaquillas from Joe Martin’s Ganaderia Acoriana.
In addition, a last minute enhancement to the cartel was that of
Venezuelan matador Curro Ortega “El Marabino”, who
faced a novillo from the same ganaderia.
The festival turned out to be quite successful, with three of
the five vaquillas which were fought that afternoon giving out
an excellent play, they were brave and went for the cape and
the muleta repeatedly and charging with their heads down. One
of these vaquillas was really an extraordinary animal –the
one fought by Michael Rauner- that helped make Rauner’s
performance truly a delight. Of the remaining two vaquillas,
one was smaller than the rest, and although she also charged,
it was not as with the quality and class of the other three.
The last vaquilla was quite the opposite, turning out to be more
complicated and gave aficionado practico Jim Verner a real challenge.
To wrap up the afternoon, there was a fairly sized and bravo
novillo, which was fought by the Venezuelan matador Curro Ortega “El
Marabino”, a surprisingly and very pleasant last minute
click here or on image to view more pictures from this event
The Festival started at around 2:00 o’clock,
on very favorable weather conditions. It was a beautiful spring
afternoon in the Central Valley, which normally experiences much
hotter weather during the summer months. Several people made
the trip from the Bay Area, some of them members of Pena Taurina
Sol y Sombra (PTSS), and some others were aficionados who wanted
to be part of the event. In addition, several members of Sacramento’s
Club Taurino El Redondel also made the trip. PTSS’s president,
Rosalbina Prebil, acted as Juez de Plaza, or Presidente.
made the paseillo impeccably dressed with traje corto. Bruce
Hutton started out the event. His vaquilla was really good, from
the moment she saw Hutton’s capote she went
after it. A couple of good veronicas were performed and that
was the end of it. Unfortunately, Hutton suffered a rib cramp
of some sort and retired from the arena. He wouldn’t come
out any more, and it was too bad, as the vaquilla turned out
an excellent play. Several of the practicos took advantage and
alternated with some good passes with the muleta, including a
very good pase cambiado, or pendulo, performed by Jim Verner.
Second at hand was Mario Orlando, who faced another good animal.
Orlando really looked masterful, with a very classy style, with
his feet sunk in the sand and remaining very vertical and steady
while performing veronicas, to finish up this part with a beautiful
larga. He looked just as good with the muleta, especially with
Adam Thorpe was next, and he also had an outstanding
performance with a vaquilla that was really good. With the capote
he performed a good quite por gaoneras, which came out really
nice. With the muleta he was good on both sides, but the muletazos
with the right hand were pure excellence.
Michael Rauner faced
perhaps the best vaquilla of the afternoon. This was truly a
great animal, with a lot of quality and class. A very brave vaquilla
allowed Rauner to elaborate some really good muletazos both with
the right hand, as well as with the left hand. You could tell
he was really enjoying what he was doing.
The turn was for Jim
Verner with a very complicated vaquilla. He started out good
with the cape, but it appeared that the vaquilla looked more
for his body than for the lure. And it turned out to be so, because
she finally caught Verner and pressed him against a burladero,
picked him up and tossed him up in the air, luckily without consequences,
as the quick assistance of some of the practicos got the vaca
away from him. Nonetheless, he was able to get some artistic
muletazos, even with an animal of such difficulty.
To wrap up
the afternoon, the novillo came out for matador Curro Ortega.
You could tell right away that this was someone with enough experience
and skill only a matador can possess. He was really impressive
with the cape, being able to achieve a couple of veronicas really
slow and with a lot of temple. With the muleta he did all he
wanted with the novillo, whether he held the muleta with his
right hand or with his left hand. Either side he was equally
He told me after he had fought the novillo that he had lived
in Spain for ten years, and that he is now living in San Diego.
Apparently, he has been performing in Mexico, and at the present
time he is looking for more opportunities to appear either in
Mexico, or in the bloodless bullfights in California.
event, the whole group gathered by the food stand and had a wonderful
time, drinking a beer or a coke and having something to eat.
of all, everyone one there seemed to really have enjoyed the
day. From the practicos and the matador, who together really
put up a great effort well reflected by their performance, as
well as the ganadero, who must have felt really proud of his
vaquillas and the brave novillo.
But especially, the members of
San Francisco’s Pena Taurina
Sol y Sombra, who must have felt really good that the event they
organized to celebrate their 45th anniversary turned out to be
a very successful one.