“There are certain strains of bulls with a marked ability to learn what goes on in the arena.. faster than the actual fight progresses which makes it more difficult from one minute to the next to control them.. these bulls are raised by Don Eduardo Miura’s sons from old fighting stock.”- Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon
Miura ranch holds an almost mythical reputation in the world of Spanish bullfighting. Made infamous by becoming the namesake for Lamborghini’s iconic 1966 supercar, and the copious references in the work of Ernest Hemingway, the Miura ranch is associated with large, ferocious bulls that test matador’s wits and skills in the plaza de toros.
More than 175 years ago, in 1842, Don Miura began the Miura ganaderia. He bred his bulls from five iconic Spanish bullfighting breeds, including the Gallardo breed, which would also become the namesake of a classic Lamborghini supercar. The Miura lineage to this day, maintains its reputation for unmatched levels of bravery and cunning, making them a particular problem for anyone who steps foot in the ring with a capote (bullfighting cape).
It was the tragic death of bullfighting legend, Manolete, in 1947 at the horns of a Miura bull named Islero that cemented the Miura’s reputation for dangerous and difficult bulls. In 1879, another Miura bull, Murcielago, survived no less than 28 sword strokes in a fight. The crowd appealed to the matador to spare the creature, which he duly did. The bull was spared and later immortalised in the name of yet another Lamborghini supercar.
The link between the Spanish fighting bull and the Italian supercar was forged in 1962. Ferruccio Lamborghini visited the iconic Miura ranch and was so moved by Don Eduardo’s bulls, he made the fighting bull his company’s mascot and would go on to name its iconic supercars after fighting bulls. The Islero, Diablo, Gallardo, Murcielago, Reventon and Espada are all a nod to the Miura ranch and its rich bullfighting heritage.
As the sport’s controversial legal status continues to be debated in Spain, there is no guarantee of the Miura’s future. Even if it is laid to rest, the annals of bullfighting, literary, and car manufacturing history will be littered for centuries to come with the names of this bullfighting pedigree.
Featured image from Wikicommons by Fiskeharrison