MADRID – Spanish King Juan Carlos reaffirmed his support for bullfighting and praised the “intelligence, bravery, expertise and art” of matadors, who face “proud animals that are real icons of Spain’s heritage,” while they “also deal with a demanding audience.”
On Thursday, Juan Carlos presented Eduardo and Antonio Miura with the VII ABC Bullfighting Award in his first appearance of the year at an official Royal Household event.
The Miura brothers are the owners of a renowned fighting bull farm from Seville.
The event included a dinner organized at the ABC newspaper headquarters, which was attended by Senate President Pio Garcia-Escudero, Madrid Mayor Ana Botella and Madrid Popular Party President Esperanza Aguirre, as well as numerous important figures from the world of bullfighting.
King Juan Carlos, who received a long standing ovation from the guests, gave a speech in which he said his mother was a bullfighting enthusiast, a tradition that had previously been “profoundly valued” by many of his ancestors “such as Carlos I.”
He also congratulated Eduardo and Antonio Miura as the owners of a cattle company “with 173 years of history, which has added excitement to bullfights after many centuries of slow refinement.”
“In its century and a half of history, spectators have rarely been disappointed by this cattle farm, which we all know today because of its size, seriousness and capacity to learn and surprise,” Juan Carlos said before congratulating the winners for “their efforts to maintain the typology of their fighting bulls for so many generations.”
“You are worthy keepers of a family lineage of cattle and fighting-bull breeders,” the king acknowledged before finishing his speech with this sentence: “you can keep counting on my enthusiasm and support of bull fighting.”
A jury presided by Javier Benjumea agreed Dec. 11 to present Miura with the award “for their conservation of a centennial legacy, remaining true to their concept of the toro bravo, with the added merit of once again successfully dealing with the San Isidro festival.”
The jury also took the opportunity to thank King Juan Carlos for his “permanent support of bull fighting.”
Two days after announcing his abdication last June, spectators at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid spontaneously paid tribute to the then ruling king of Spain for his continuous support of the tradition.