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September 10, 2000
Two Counts Meet for Regional Talks

Posted by M. Cervantes on Sunday September 10, @08:01PM

from the Not those idiots again dept.

BADAJOZ, Espana (JNS) _ El Conde de Baltimore wrapped up his Iberian Tour 2000 with a visit to Extremadura to meet with the Conde de Badajoz for discussions on regional issues.

El Conde, Formula 1 driver John Sullivan, and Jorge Sanchez Romerales, the Count of Badajoz, toured the Sanchez family estate, attended a bullfight in nearby Alburquerque, were feted at Extremadura Day festivities, and toured Roman ruins in Merida during the three-day visit.

In Alburquerque, the three attended a type of bullfight known as ``rejoneo,'' in which the bull is fought from horseback.

Unlike the more traditional form of bullfighting where the matador eludes the bull's horns with his capework, rejoneo matadors use horsemanship to tire and eventually kill the bull using a long lance.

The mounted matadors conduct all aspects of the bull fight, placing a series of picks in the bull's back to weaken the shoulders before killing him.

The bulls in the corrida at first charged the horse without provocation, and the immaculately dressed matadors had to approach carefully. The horsemen almost always guided their prancing mounts to dodge right and then left, causing the bull to charge off course and allowing the horse to circle around the bull so the matador could plant the barbs.

The first is placed with a spring-loaded staff that unfurls a flag once the barb is left in the bull's back. The bull then chases the flag trailing from the staff, further tiring himself.

Later, the matadors sidestep their mounts in front of the charging bulls, placing smaller barbs by hand, cantering in circles at times ahead of the now sweating and heavily bleeding bull.

Good performances in front of the bull's horns were cheered. If the events proceeded too slowly, or if the bull was not killed cleanly, however, whistling would emerge from in the crowd of about 1,000 gathered in the maroon and white stucco ring overlooking a nearby castle and the brown countryside.

The second bull of the six-bull card prompted much derisive whistling.

The bull was reluctant at first to participate in his own death, refusing to charge and sitting down at one point, prompting a cheer of ``Que viva el toro!,'' or ``long live the bull,'' from El Conde de Baltimore. The count's family hails from the northwestern region of Galicia, where bullfighting is not popular.

``I think the Count was impressed by the bull's bargaining position. It's obvious that these executions can't continue without the participation of the condemned. Hopefully, this will serve as an example for others,'' said Bradley Leffield, a professor of international relations at Brown University and a member of Death Penalty Watch, an anti-death penalty group.

Earlier Friday, the trio visited Sanchez' large ranch, where they inspected the boars, cattle, sheep and horses at the estate.

On Saturday, the three traveled to Merida and toured the Roman arena and amphitheater in the city, which once was a regional Roman capital, before El Conde de Baltimore and Mr. Sullivan returned to the United States on Sunday.

Mr. Sullivan, however, was frustrated during the visit in his attempts to procure a serving of tecula-mecula, a mysterious dish also known as the ``forbidden pastry'' because it is too heavy to be served as a dessert.

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Posted by Alex at September 10, 2000 08:01 PM
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