A famous bullfighter was killed after he fell over his cape and was gored by a bull during a festival in France.
He was on his way to the hospital with grave injuries to his lung and kidneys on Saturday, but on his way there, he died when he suffered a heart attack.
The bull that struck the killing blow was five-year-old bull Provechito, which is Spanish slang for ‘burp’. Fandino in an earlier fight, had bested the beast and cut off its ear. The animal was also gravely injured in the later fight and was put down.
It has only been a year since another Spanish matador, Victor Barrio, had been killed in a fight in Spain.
A witness in the crowd during the Corrida des Fetes – Bullfighting Festival – in Aire-sur-l’Adour, south France, said at first many people in the stands did not realize Fandino had actually been injured.
‘Ivan was caught by surprise and suffered the consequences. People were cheering to begin with, thinking everything was under control.’
‘Then we realised that Ivan was very badly hurt, and he was rushed away by other matadors, supported by paramedics.’
Matadors carry brightly coloured capes to distract and manoeuvre bulls, which are bred especially for the spectacle.
Fandino’s death reignites the fierce row about bullfighting. Critics describe the activity as barbaric, while supporters insist it is a tradition rooted in history and an art form. Spain’s royal family, politicians and the bullfighting world mourned Fandino’s death yesterday.
The royals paid tribute on their official Twitter feed to a ‘great bullfighting figure’, while Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy lamented the ‘sad news’. But a spokesman for the animal protection group the Humane Society said: ‘For the thousand 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. Blood sports like this should be consigned to the history books. No-one, neither human nor animal, should lose their life for entertainment.’
In 2015, a bull in Pamplona in Spain – where the famous Running of the Bulls event takes place – had tossed him in the air, while the year before he was hurt more badly when he was knocked out in Bayonne, France.
Fandino’s widow Cayetana, with whom the couple had a baby daughter named Mara, was yesterday handling the details to have her husband’s body returned to their home in Orduna, in Spain’s sovereign Basque region, to prepare it for the funeral.