Hurry up, I’m dying: Final words of award-winning matador as he was carried from the ring after being gored when he tripped on his cloak.
A renowned bullfighter has died after he tripped over his cape and was gored during a festival in France.
Ivan Fandino, a 36-year-old from Spain, had fallen to the ground as he got his feet caught in the material.
The rampaging bull, which weighed more than half a ton, then tossed him into the air and impaled him in the chest.
The married father-of-one’s last words were said to have been, ‘Hurry up, I’m dying!’ after he was carried out of the arena by fellow matadors.
He was taken to hospital with serious injuries to his lung and kidneys on Saturday, but he died on the way after suffering a heart attack.
The five-year-old bull’s name was Provechito, which is Spanish slang for ‘burp’. Fandino won an earlier fight against the bull and cut off its ear. The animal was also seriously injured in the later fight and was killed afterwards.
Fandino’s death comes less than a year after another Spanish matador, Victor Barrio, died in a fight in Spain.
A member of the crowd at the Corrida des Fetes – Bullfighting Festival – in Aire-sur-l’Adour, south France, said at first many spectators did not realise Fandino was in trouble.
‘Ivan was caught by surprise and suffered the consequences,’ the witness said. ‘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.’
Fandino, who reportedly fought his first bull when he was 14, had been a professional fighter since 2005. He had been injured at least twice before.
In 2015 he was thrown into the air by a bull in Pamplona in Spain – which holds the famous Running of the Bulls event each year – while the year before he was hurt more seriously when he was knocked unconscious in Bayonne, France.
Fandino’s widow Cayetana, with whom he had a baby daughter Mara, was yesterday arranging to have her husband’s body returned to their home in Orduna, in Spain’s autonomous Basque region, for the funeral.