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Man, 34, dies after being gored in the heart by bull at Spanish fiesta

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A man 34-year-old has died in Spain while practicing his bull fighting skills after the rampaging beast gored him in the heart.

The man was attempting the traditional skill of ‘arcing’, where contestants put their lives on the line by confronting bulls without any capes or swords but simply use lightning body movements such as flips and somersaults to avoid being attacked.

The award-winning Spaniard died when he slipped and fell in an enclosure. He was gored several times and suffered injuries which proved fatal.

Juan Carlos Otero was killed in a bull ring about 90 miles north of Madrid, file photograph of a bull ring

The rampaging bull gored Otero several times piercing his heart after the 34-year-old slipped over (file photo)

Juan Carlos Otero, pictured, faced the rampaging bull without carrying any weapons to protect himself

The fiesta in La Parrilla in Valladolid was immediately suspended and two days of mourning called.

The dead man has been named as Juan Carlos Otero who was known as ‘El Gallo’.

He was rushed to hospital in a critical condition where doctors attempted to operate but they were unable to save his life because the horn had pierced his heart.

Otero was well-known in the area for his bull dodging and he had taken part in a number of events, winning several trophies.

The Mayoress of La Parilla, Esperanza Toquero said it had been a case of misfortune because the victim slipped and fell in the enclosure whilst performing a trick he had done hundreds of time before. ‘Arcing’ involves bending the body backwards to avoid the horns.

She said the dead man had done this many times before but was left defenseless as the bull gored him several times.

Flags are being flown at half mast outside the town hall in La Parrilla where the rest of the bull runs were cancelled.

Otero performed ‘arching’ where a competitor leans away from the charging bull in La Parrilla, Valladolid

Otero was highly experienced in the bullring and had performed ‘hundreds of times’ according to well wishers

When in trouble, Otero would vault to safety over the protective barrier away from the rampaging bull

However, in his last bout, Otero slipped and was gored several times by the angry bull 

However, in his last bout, Otero slipped and was gored several times by the angry bull

The dead man came from Navalmanzano in the province of Segovia in Castilla y León where he worked as a blacksmith.

A spokesman for the local council said: ‘We have declared a period of official mourning from this afternoon until tomorrow for the death of Juan Carlos Otero Blanco and share the pain of his loss.’

His distraught family and friends have posted a video of his bull dodging exploits on Youtube as a tribute.

However, anti bull-running campaigners say his ‘senseless’ death adds weight to their call for all ‘festivities’ involving bulls to be banned.




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Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field