King of Spain's niece's matador boyfriend gored in the groin

A matador whose girlfriend's uncle is the King of Spain is in a serious condition after being gruesomely gored by a bull.

Gonzalo Caballero, 27, was participating in a bullfighting tournament in Madrid on Saturday to mark Hispanic Day, a national holiday in Spain.

He had just stabbed the bull in the back of the neck when the animal charged him, sending him flying into the air. When Caballero hit the ground the bull attacked again, this time piercing the femoral vein in his groin.

Watching in horror from the VIP section of the crowd was his 19-year-old girlfriend Victoria Federica, who is the niece of King Felipe VI. 

The femoral vein runs from the thigh to the hip and is a significant source of blood, so can be life-threatening if punctured. Metro reports the wound in Caballero's leg was 23 to 30cm deep.

Photos of the attack show blood spurting from Caballero's mouth as the bull's horn makes contact with his inner thigh, his face screwed up in pain. He was carried to the infirmary still clutching his groin, where he underwent two hours of surgery.

The bull's severed ear was delivered to him while he lay in the infirmary, a traditional prize for a champion matador. 

Caballero has since been transferred to San Francisco de Asís hospital where he remains in a serious condition, according to local media reports.

Caballero had only just returned to the bullring after being gored five months ago, another serious leg injury that required him to use crutches for some time.

Bullfighting continues to draw significant crowds in Spain despite accusations of animal cruelty. A 2017 poll conducted by World Animal Protection found only 19 percent of Spanish adults support the sport, while 58 percent oppose it.


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