San Isidro Fair 2024: The Fair of Change?

The latest edition of the San Isidro Fair could be seen as the fair of change. The results, by mid-June, will either confirm or refute such a statement, but what’s certain is that the lineups feature a large number of young matadors, with only a few years of experience but eager to make their mark in the profession and bring variety and versatility to each subscription’s combinations.

In addition to the confirmations of alternativa – up to five in the fair, and another one on Easter Sunday – there are around fifteen matadors who haven’t yet completed a decade in the top rankings, but have nonetheless earned the right to be present in the most significant event of the calendar. A triumph here could propel them into the circuit.

Corrida toros Madrid, 11 mayo 2024
Bullfight 11 May 2024. Feria de San Isidro, Madrid. Spain

Bullfight 11 May 2024, Madrid

Perhaps it’s Román, who precisely commemorates a decade since El Juli invested him as a matador in the Roman coliseum of Nîmes, who is the most seasoned bullfighter of this new generation. The Valencian, a torero with a good reputation in Madrid, where he has triumphed on several occasions and suffered the most serious goring of his career, is announced for Saturday, May 11th, in the second bullfight of the series, alongside El Fandi and Leo Valadez, a Mexican torero also belonging to this group aiming to “refresh” a cast increasingly redundant. The bulls, a guarantee, are from Fuente Ymbro.

The following day (Sunday, May 12th), another classic returns to Madrid, the Baltasar Ibán ranch. Another young Mexican, Calita, who impressed greatly last summer in Las Ventas, along with two other members of this new generation, Francisco de Manuel and Francisco José Espada, who also know what it’s like to succeed in Madrid, complete one of the most appealing youthful trios in the program.

Corrida de toros Madrid, 12 mayo 2024
Bullfight 12 May 2024. Feria de San Isidro, Madrid. Spain
Corrida de toros 22 de mayo 2024
Bullfighting 22 May 2024, Madrid

Another lineup of similar characteristics: Wednesday, May 22nd. Bulls from El Torero for David Galván, Álvaro Lorenzo, and Ángel Téllez. The Cádiz breed represents a reserve of caste, of bulls with fiber and nerve. Those that demand first and then appreciate. David Galván is a young veteran, who has a taste for interpretation and also possesses the craftsmanship he lacked before, which increasingly allows him to handle more and more bulls. Meanwhile, Álvaro Lorenzo and Ángel Téllez have already opened the big door of Las Ventas. Both from Toledo, they have credit and endorsements to get on the train. Lorenzo for his composure. Téllez because he exudes personality. The fans are still waiting for both of them.

Ten days later (Sunday, June 2nd), the company brings together three aspirants in an international trio that will face the bulls from Salamanca of Pedraza de Yeltes. This brand, which has the El Pilar bloodline, is highly appreciated by French fans. Last year, they won the September Concurso Bullfight at Las Ventas and this year they have a double appearance in the capital’s stronghold. The Frenchman Juan Leal opens the bill, currently the most renowned matador from his country outside its borders. Made in Spain, his way of interpreting in close quarters and extending the muletazo beyond imagination, despite being very close to the horns, is his main virtue and stronghold. Espada makes his second appearance in the fair in this lineup, completed by the Mexican Isaac Fonseca. The new Aztec promise is a bullfighter of courage and determination, who captivates the audience from the first cape pass due to his almost sensationalist attitude.

Corrida de toros, 2 junio 2024
Corrida de toros, 2 junio 2024. Madrid, Las Ventas

These are not the only young talents in a fair that also includes, among others, Tomás Rufo, Ginés Marín, Borja Jiménez, Colombo, Juan de Castilla, Damián Castaño, Gómez del Pilar, or Fernando Adrián. All of them will aim to materialize this spring in Madrid the increasingly necessary trend of opening fairs and lineups to this new deck of bullfighters. You, aficionado, or simply curious, have the opportunity to witness this change firsthand. Don’t let it slip away.

José Miguel Arruego

José Miguel Arruego

Bullfighting journalist

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