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20111125_toroThe stage is set for the winter season opener at the Santa Maria Bullring on Sunday, Dec. 4, when the event brings in the largest bulls ever presented in a world-class bloodless bullfight in the United States. The pure-bred Spanish bulls are out of the stock of Don Rafael Mendoza.

The Santa Maria Bullring is located just northwest of Mission, on FM 1017 in La Gloria.

Feel the fire of live Flamenco in the clicking of the castanets and the sounds of the pounding boots in rhythm to the Spanish guitars, as the famous flamenco duo Ray Duran and Sonia Chapa take to the stage in a live performance. The flamenco show will begin at 3 p.m. one hour before the 4 p.m. bullfight.

The Santa Maria Bullring will also feature two, new matadors. Ernesto Xavier "El Calita" from Mexico City, the new idol of the tour, will make his debut in the Santa Maria. He has appeared in Spain as well as South America, registering grand afternoons, and just finished with a tremendous triumph in Guadalajara.

Alternating with him is the new super star Isaac Leal Montalvo of Monterrey. Leal was wounded in his debut in the 2010 winter season here. He was rushed to the matador’s hospital in Monterrey where he spent a few days before being released to recuperate at his home in Monterrey. This past week, he appeared in the Monumental de Monterrey ring where he won ears from both bulls in a benefit performance for the hospital.

"It takes great courage and skill for us to face bulls of this size," he said in a press conference last week. "I know the bulls will perform well as all bulls from Don Rafael Mendoza do."

The bullring gates will open at 1 p.m. Ticket prices range $25 to $40. There will be great food and music leading up to the event.

Tickets may be purchased at Border Tire, corner of Mayberry and Business 83, in Mission. For more information, call 956-585-8473 or the bullring at 956-481-3300.

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