11-Year-Old Matador Aims for Record Books

He's only 11, but this is not the first time that Michelito Lagravere has courted controversy.

A child matador whose father is former French bullfighter Michel Lagravere, Michelito killed six young bulls in a ring in Merida, Mexico, in a bid to enter the Guinness World Records.

About 3,500 people turned up Saturday to watch baby-faced Michelito in the ring, where he killed the bulls, despite failed efforts by animal rights organizations and child protection services to have the event suspended.

Anti-bullfighting campaigners have long fought to have Michelito barred from risking his life in the ring, saying that the boy is too young and the sport of bullfighting too brutal.

Bullfight Fans Ignore Protests

But the protests have made little impression on the young bullfighter's fan base.

Born in Mexico, Michelito was 4 when he first confronted a month-old calf. Since then, his fame has spread to Europe, where his appearance at French bullfights last year aroused strong protests from anti-bullfighting campaigners.

After his latest triumph in the arena, a video of last weekend's fight, will be sent to Guinness to see if his effort now merits a world record, for the number of bulls killed and the age of the bullfighter.

No Age Limit on Bullfighting

Although many onlookers around the world have been shocked by Michelito's youth, there is no age limit on bullfighters in Mexico City. They can be as young as they want, provided they, like Michelito, fight only smaller bulls and calves.

And, although the child bullfighter has suffered many injuries in the name of sport, he shows no signs of slowing down.

"I'm happy to have achieved this great victory," he told the audience after his latest turn in the arena, also expressing his desire to enter the Guinness World Records.

Despite strong opposition from animal rights activists around the world, bullfighting remains popular in countries such as Mexico, Spain and parts of southern France.