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Matador gored to death after tripping on cloak

Spanish bullfighter Ivan Fandino performs during a bullfighting festival in Colombia
Image: Ivan Fandino performing during a bullfighting festival in Colombia in 2014

A renowned Spanish bullfighter has died after he tripped on his cloak and was fatally gored in a ring in France.

Ivan Fandino, 36, who was a professional matador for 12 years, was performing at the Aire-sur-l’Adour bullfighting festival in the town of Mont de Marsan, near the Spanish border.

The Basque fighter fell to the ground after tripping on a cape used in a turn to engage and distract the specially-bred fighting bull, and the animal plunged one of its horns into the matador’s side, Spanish news agency EFE reported.

Hospital authorities declined to comment but an independent medical source said that Fandino had suffered two heart attacks in an ambulance and died later in hospital.

Spanish matador Ivan Fandino in 2015
Image: Fandino was a professional matador for 12 years

Fandino is the second Spanish bullfighter to die in the ring in the past year.

Victor Barrio was killed after being gored by a bull in front of spectators last July, the first time since the early 1990s a professional matador had died in the ring in Spain.

The centuries-old tradition of bullfighting remains popular in Spain, with around 1,800 shows a year before a total audience of some six million who view the sport as an art integral to Spanish culture.

But authorities are under increasing pressure to clamp down on the sport on animal rights grounds.

Activists renewed calls for a total ban after Barrio’s death, saying the tradition is both cruel and anachronistic, while a year ago the regional government of Castilla y Leon banned the killing of bulls at town festivals.

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