The Spaniard

Bull Power: The Spaniard

By Keith Ryan Cartwright

THE SPANIARD is mean. Like really mean. So mean, in fact, bullfighters from other organizations voted to no longer use him at events, mostly because there were no other comparable fighting bulls. Drawing him was seen as a disadvantage.

Shorty Gorham saw it as an opportunity.

So he seized the moment and helped broker a deal between Evan Allard and Lights Out.

Like the PBR, where Gorham has spent more than a decade protecting cowboys at the elite televised PBR events, he wants his American Freestyle Bullfighting events to feature the rankest fighting bulls and the best bullfighters in the world.

In seven previous outs, Allard said, The Spaniard has hooked all seven bullfighters.

Again, he’s mean.

The Spaniard has a rare combination of speed and intensity that makes him better than other bulls. “When that gate opens he comes out going 90 miles an hour,” said Gorham, who then explained that unlike other bulls, The Spaniard also runs with his head up high.

The bullfighter never ever leaves his sight. He can see what the bullfighter is doing at all times, whereas fighting bulls with their head down cannot maneuver as fast. Or see where they’re going, which allows The Spaniard, who’s already known for his speed, to hit the corner and turn back to the bullfighter that much quicker than he already would have. 

“Then you’re in his game,” Gorham said. “No matter how good you are, he’s going to push you out eventually.”

Typically, a bullfighter wants to either fake a fighting bull one way or make rounds with him. The Spaniard is so fast that if a bullfighter is able to fake him, eventually he gets to the inside of the turn and pushes the man out.

“Then he has control,” said Gorham, of his top prizefighter.“He’s so fast he’s going to gather you up.”

Gorham said that the first time The Spaniard competed.

“I was there,” Gorham recalled. “He was just so good that you went, ‘Holy shit. That was an amazing trip.’”

Gorham believes fighting bulls like The Spaniard are born. They’re not trained.

“He’s the kind of bull I want to have more of,” said Gorham, whose main intention in buying him is to use The Spaniard “as a herd sire” to build and sustain the Lights Out program. They plan to keep all the heifers and bull calves starting in January 2018. Gorham added, “He’s going to be the base of our breeding program.”

That said, The Spaniard is scheduled to make five appearances at Shorty Gorham’s American Freestyle Bullfighting event in 2018. But there’s one noticeable change. He was mean, but he was little and Lights Out put some on The Spaniard since purchasing him from Allard. “He’s going to be more intimidating than he used to be,” said Gorham, who laughed at the notion The Spaniard was already intimidating to being with.

“He’s so good, so mean, so fast, he takes a (bullfighter’s) game away from him,” continued Gorham, smiling, “I want to find more like him and inject that into our bloodline.”