"LAGARTIJO"

Manuel Sanchez

Oak Park, United States

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Rafael Molina Sánchez(November 27, 1841 – August 1, 1900) “Lagartijo”, the son of “Niño de Dios”, and nephew of “Poleo”, was born in Cordoba on November 27, 1841. He fought in his home town on September 8, 1851 when he was nine years old. On September 29, 1865, he became a full bullfighter (he took the alternativa) at Ubeda. His sponsor (apoderao) was “Gordito”; “Lagartijo” killed “Carabuco”, a bull from the ranch (ganadería) owned by the Marchioness of Ontiveros.

Rafael Molina Sánchez "Lagartijo"From that date until his retirement, he took part in 1632 bullfights (400 of them in Madrid); he needed infirmary only once, and left it afterwards to continue his performance. He killed 4867 bulls in 29 consecutive seasons, and was active for forty-two taurine years. He was seriously gored seven times. He died on August 1, 1900 in Córdoba.

One of "Lagartijo"’s most renowned fights took place on October 5, 1879 in Córdoba, Spain, against a bull name Murciélago. In an exceptional display of courage and resilience, the bull survived 24 sword strikes. For this display, “Lagartijo” chose to spare Murciélago’s life, a very rare honor. “Lagartijo” gave the bull as a gift to Don Antonio Miura, who mated the bull with 70 cows. Murciélago’s line, now called the Miura line, still exists and is famous for producing fighting bulls of great ferocity and courage.

In 1887, “Lagartijo” presented his sword at the alternativa of Rafael Guerra Bejarano, marking Guerra’s elevation from an apprentice to a professional matador. A Spanish hand fan commemorating the event survives in the collection of the Staten Island Historical Society at Historic Richmond Town in New York.

New: Protect your iPod & iPhone with these cool cases,very durable. Original Oil Painting Prints by Artist Manuel Sanchez.
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