28 Jul, 2023 @ 14:15
1 min read

Bull’s revenge: Bullfighter suffers horrific goring while rescuing fellow fighter in Spain’s Santander

July 11, 2023, Pamplona, Navarre, Spain: Peruvian bullfighter Andres Roca Rey during the fifth bullfight at the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, on July 11, 2023. Revelers from around the world flock to Pamplona each year to take part in eight days of bullfighting. Made famous by American writer Ernest Hemmingway's 1926 novel 'The Sun Also Rises', the annual San Fermin Festival involves the daily running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona to the bullring. (Credit Image: © Ruben Albarran/ZUMA Press Wire)

EVERY bullfighter’s nightmare came to pass as one risked his own life and suffered a goring to distract a raging bull that had his fellow fighter between its horns.

The horrific incident unfolded in the Plaza de Santander after Roca ‘Messi of Matadors’ Rey was caught unexpectedly by only his second bull of the day.

Instead of being fooled by the capote (a bullfighters red cape) the charging bull at the last instant turned and directed its full might into the frail body of the 26-year-old Peruvian.

The 500-kilogram creature tossed Roca Rey up into the air and juggled him into the barrier before repeatedly pummelling him for a heart-stopping ten seconds as the shocked audience fell silent.

Peruvian bullfighter Andres Roca Rey during the fifth bullfight at the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, on July 11, 2023. He suffered a bad goring yesterday in Santander (Credit Image: © Ruben Albarran/ZUMA Press Wire)

Roca Rey’s team rushed over in a desperate attempt to help him, but they could not get the bull’s attention. Screams of horror began to echo around the arena. 

It was then that bullfighter Cayetano Rivera leaped into the ring, defenceless without his capote, and successfully distracted the furious beast.

But, despite his heroism, Rivera then stumbled and himself fell beneath the charging bull’s horns.

Remarkably, despite the harrowing scene, neither bullfighter suffered severe injuries. 

Roca Rey’s medical report cited ‘multiple contusions on his neck, face, right thigh, and left knee’ and an injury to his knee, while Ronda resident Cayetano Rivera sustained a fractured rib. 

Roca Rey later returned to the ring to kill the bull, cutting off two ears.

Following Roca Rey’s recovery from the goring, he took to social media to express his gratitude to his fellow bullfighter.

“Cayetano, I want to thank you for showing true camaraderie and a disregard for your own safety to save mine,” he wrote, accompanying a picture of the moment.

In response, Rivera said the risk ‘was worth it.’

Cayetano Rivera, in Pamplona on July 12, 2023. Cayetano rushed to the aid of his fellow bullfighter Roca Rey. Credit: Iñigo Alzugaray / Cordon Press Pamplona, Navarra.

It is the second goring incident this month. On the previous occasion, bullfighter Fernando Robleño fell victim to a bull’s horn during the Sanfermines festival.

Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? [email protected]

1 Comment

  1. How about cutting off Roca Rey’s ears too – and then other parts of his anatomy….that would be a good start to avenge the poor bull for this barbarous activity.

    Location : Spain

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