French bullfighter Lea Vicens – who sparked anger among animal rights activists when she was pictured last year holding the severed ears of a bull which had gored her – was on the receiving end yesterday.
Lea, 31, was toppled from her horse by a bull during the El Pilar Feria tournament at La Misericordia bullring in Zaragoza, Spain.
In May last year she was knocked off her horse by a bull which nearly killed her at a festival in her home town of Nimes in southern France. She later killed it and displayed its ears.
Unperturbed she was back on her horse at the weekend but found herself on the wrong end of an irate bull’s horns again.
Lea, who is officially known as a rejoneadora – a bullfighter on horseback, had plunged two lances (known as banderillas) into the back of the animal before it managed to unseat her.
As she lay prone on the ground the beast tried to gore her with his horns. She managed to scramble to safety and lived to fight another day.
Near miss: Lea Vicens grimaces on the ground as the bull turns and tries to gore her after unseating her
Last year she courted controversy when she held up the ears of a bull (pictured) to the delight of the crowd at the Feria de Nimes festival in southern France
Lea Vicens rode into the ring full of confidence and swagger. She is pictured as she prepares to plunge one of the brightly coloured banderillas into the back of the charging bull
Vicens, having lost her hat, prepares to spear the bull with a second banderilla
But on the bull’s third charge it struck the horse and Vicens, this time with a green banderilla in her hand, is pictured grimacing as she feels the weight of the broadside
Her mount was brought crashing to the ground and Vicens, her banderilla still in her hand, was momentarily pinned underneath the bull
The large crowd at La Misericordia bullring in Zaragoza held their collective breath
Vicens managed to scramble clear and was rescued by several matadors who watch the bull warily as they haul her to safety
At the same tournament, on Saturday, Juan Jose Padilla, branded ‘The Pirate’ because of the eyepatch he wears, was lucky to survive after being gored by a bull.
The 43-year-old, who fell to the floor after being charged at by the 100-stone animal, was rushed to hospital after taking a blow close to his eyepatch, in similar circumstances to the mauling which saw him lose his left eye five years ago.
Vicens has a reputation for her energetic and exciting performances, with spectators paying up to €104 (£75) for a seat at her fights.
In 2012, the matador won plaudits in France for cutting 60 ears and 10 tails off bulls.
She lives and works in Seville, and was trained by one of Spain’s most famous bullfighters, 90-year-old Angel Peralta.
Earlier Lea Vicens, riding a white horse (pictured), had taken on another bull successfully
Lea Vicens, her banderilla in hand, waits for the bull as her mount rears up
Earlier, on board a black horse, she had taken on another bull