At the Aire-sur-l’Adour bullfighting festival in France, veteran Spanish matador Ivan Fandino, 36, became the second matador from Spain to die while bullfighting within a year. Last July, Spanish matador Victor Barrio, 29, died while bullfighting in Spain, the first fatality of a matador in the country since 1985.
According to the Washington Post, Fandino died after his feet became entangled in his bullfighting cloak. The matador was gored after he fell down in the bullring and died en route to the hospital. BBC News reported that the bull’s name was “Burp.”
People attending the bullfighting festival near the city of Pau “were horrified” by the scene that unfolded before their eyes as the Spanish matador was gored by the bull. The bull then reportedly tossed Fandino into the air with its horns.
One of the spectators at the festival said in an interview with the Daily Mail that at first, everyone watching the bullfights, or corridas, as they are called in Spain, thought “everything was under control.” Then, they began to realize “Ivan was very badly hurt.” Other matadors and paramedics on the scene helped rush him out of the bullring and into an ambulance.
Fandino’s kidneys, lungs and heart were injured when he was gored. According to the Daily Mail, one of his colleagues who was there when Fandino was gored described what happened as being a “tragedy.” He wondered, along with the other matadors there, “how it could have happened.”
French media reported that Fandino died on the way to the hospital due to “a heart attack.” He became the first matador to die in the bullring in France in over 100 years. Fandino was conscious, though “bleeding heavily,” as he was led from the bullring.
The bull was put down, because it had been gravely injured by the matador while in the bullring. Bullfighting has been legal in France since 2012. Though bullfighting began in Spain, it took root in France approximately 150 years ago. Bullfighting is especially popular in the Arles and Nimes areas of France.
Animal rights campaigners tried to have bullfighting banned then, in 2012, but France’s Constitutional Council turned down the plea. The Humane Society International has sought to have the bloodsport banned, calling every single fight “a tragedy” because each one ends with the bull involved suffering a death that is “protracted and painful.”
Since 1921, Fandino’s death is the first fatality of a matador in France. France’s Sud-Ouest newspaper reported that Isidoro Mari Fernando was the last matador to die in the bullring previously in France, in 1921, in Béziers.
Before his death, Fandino was injured twice while bullfighting. The first time was in 2014, in Bayonne, France, when he was knocked out. Then, in 2015, while bullfighting in Pamplona, Spain, a bull threw him into the air.
Veteran Spanish matador Ivan Fandino, 36, became the second Spanish matador to die from bullfighting within a year when he was gored by a bull at the Aire-sur-l’Adour bullfighting festival in France. Fandino was gored by the bull he was fighting after his feet became entangled in his cape, and he fell down. He is survived by a wife and daughter.
By John Samuels