Written by 09:00 Curiosities

Bullfighting surgeons, Guardian Angels

Enfermería Las Ventas

The acknowledgments of the work of bullfighting surgeons will never be enough

Every time blood is spilled in the arena, we place our faith in the doctors at the head of the infirmary of the bullring and, fortunately, most of the times they work the miracle and there is only room for the eternal gratitude for another life saved. Bullfighting surgeons are also a cut above, their specialty is very complicated.

To begin with, they deal with all kinds of wounds and injuries, from a simple cut to a goring that cuts a femoral or an organ, through all kinds of dislocations and trauma. They have to be prepared for any situation in spaces that do not always have everything they need, without the possibility of testing or analytics. It is their own hands that feel the damage caused by a goring, so it is key to control the tension that is generated and act very quickly


Las Ventas nursing

Nursing door of Las Ventas.


The turning point after Paquirri’s death

The goring suffered by the matador from Cádiz in 1984 may not have been mortal; unfortunately, the infirmary of Pozoblanco Bullring was not prepared for the seriousness of the situation. Paquirri’s death shocked everyone and it became aware of the importance of having the necessary means in any bullfighting show, whether it was a first or third category bullring. This motivated the renovation of the infirmary and the beginning of the mobile operating rooms.

Interestingly, his son and also matador Cayetano, is one of the few bullfighters who worry about this issue every afternoon he bullfights.


ABC and its XII Bullfighting Prize to bullfighting surgeons

The ABC newspaper, one of the main ones in Spain, awards each year one of the most prestigious bullfighting prizes. In 2020 it will be received by bullfighting surgeons, represented by Dr. García Padrós and Val-Carreres. The prize comes after the very hard season 2019, in which lives like the one of the banderillero Mariano de la Viña and the bullfighters Román, Gonzalo Caballero or Manuel Escribano hung by a thread. In the words of the ABC jury:

“…with their scientific wisdom and exemplary surrender, they save the lives of so many bullfighters, as they have clearly demonstrated this season, in which such serious mishaps have occurred.”

  • Dr. Máximo García Padrós; he is the doctor of the Bullring of Las Ventas in Madrid, where he continued his father’s work, Dr. Máximo García de la Torre, as chief surgeon in 1985 and where this year he will reach his 54th season. Throughout his career, a single bullfighter has lost his life: the banderillero called Campeño in 1988. His son Dr. Máximo García Leirado continues the family legacy working beside him in the Las Ventas .


Máximo García Pardos

Dr. García Padrós in an image from El Mundo.


  • Dr. Carlos Val-Carreres; he is the chief surgeon of the Bullring of the Misericordia of Zaragoza, where he also continues the work that his father and grandfather performed and shares it with his brother Antonio and his daughter Pilar. Miraculously, he saved the life of Mariano de la Viña at last Pilar Fair, when the member of Perera’s crew entered practically dead in the infirmary. He attended also Juan José Padilla after the dramatic goring of 2011.


Carlos Val-Carreres; he is the chief surgeon of the Bullring of the Misericordia of Zaragoza

Dr. Carlos Val-Carreres. Image form LaCerca.com


Last year they received another important recognition, the Enrique Ponce bullfighting prize awarded by the Club Allard of Madrid. The receiver was the Spanish Society of Bullfighting Surgery (SECT), represented by Dr. Pascual González Masegosa, chief surgeon of the Bullring of Albacete, for the great work that these surgeons do when attending wounded bullfighters with extraordinary professionalism and total dedication, in the words of the jury.

The SECT groups these Guardian Angels of bullfighting guard and performs tremendous work and dissemination, organizing courses, lectures, seminars and even a post-graduate degree taught at the University of Valencia and specializes in assistance to gorings of bulls.

Just for their benefit, a great Bullfighting Festival, called Bullfighting Angels, has been organized on Saturday, February 29 in the Burgos town of Aranda de Duero. Tauroemoción company has set up a wonderful poster with the bullfighters Morante de la Puebla, José María Manzanares, Cayetano, Emilio de Justo, Pablo Aguado and the steer-bullfighter El Rafi, to fight bulls from García Jiménez.

A great opportunity to contribute to the training of bullfighting surgeons

Aranda de Duero festivities

Aranda de Duero bullfighting show 2020


Happy week, bullfighting lovers!

Miren Iruña

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