Ivan Fandino had been a star Spanish bullfighter for over twelve years before he was gruesomely gored to death in a French bullring yesterday. The 36-year-old matador had already pierced the bull’s neck with multiple swords when he tripped over his cape and fell to the ground.
At the time, Fandino was using his cape to attract and escalate the bull’s fury but got tangled in the fabric, after which the bull launched the fighter into the air. Taking advantage of the moment, the raging bull plunged its horn into Fandino’s side.
Thousands of spectators cheered when Fandino, who initially looked unscathed, immediately got up and limped a short distance. Nevertheless, it was soon evident that Fandino was weak and he had to be carried out of the bullring by fellow matadors. The crowd’s cheers turned to gasps.
It was later revealed that the bull’s horn had pierced Fandino’s side which left the matador with a punctured a lung.
Fandino, who hails from the Basque region – an area in the western Pyrenees that straddles the border between France and Spain – was quickly rushed to hospital in an ambulance. However, Fandino succumbed to his injuries before he was able to receive proper medical attention.
According to the Daily Mail, one of Fandino’s colleagues said that fellow matadors “just do not know how it could have happened.”
Almost exactly a year ago, on July 9, 2016, another Spanish star bullfighter, Victor Barrio, was killed in front of thousands of spectators in Teruel. The angered bull stabbed Barrio in his chest, severing his aorta – a major artery carrying oxygenated blood – and slicing through his lung.
Barrio was 29-years-old and was well-loved by fans of bullfighting worldwide.
Fans of Ivan Fandino took to social media to express their grief at the news of his passing. Famous Spanish bull rancher, Victorino Martin, added his condolences.
“Our friend and great bullfighter Ivan Fandino dies in France. A great loss for the world of bullfighting. We are dismayed.”
Fandino was born in Orduna, situated in the Bizkaia region of Basque. The matador made his debut in 2005. Ivan Fandino was due to enter the ring at the upcoming eighteenth San Isidro Fair in Madrid.
The Humane Society International acknowledged that Fandino’s death was a “tragedy,” however, warned that the treatment of bulls in the sport was unfair.
“For the 1,000 bulls brutally killed in French bullfights every year, every single fight is a tragedy in which they have no chance of escaping a protracted and painful death. Bloodsports like this should be consigned to the history books, no-one should lose their life for entertainment, human or animal.”
Despite constant opposition from animal rights groups, the sport is a protected tradition in parts of southern France and Spain.