Iván Fandiño, who was 36, was mortally wounded during a bull-running festival in Aire-sur-l’Adour in the southwest of France.
Witnesses said he was using his cloak to entice the bull to charge when his feet became entangled in the material and he could not free himself in time.
Fandiño came from Orduña in Bizkaia and ironically was killed by a bull bred in Spain. When he fell to the ground, the giant beast gored him in one of his lungs.
The accident happened in the Aire-sur-l’Adour and was watched by horrified onlookers.
He was rushed to the bullring’s infirmary and then on to a hospital in Mont de Marsan. It is understood his heart stopped when in the ambulance and on his arrival, doctors could not do anything to save his life.
Fandiño wanted to become a bullfighter from the age of 14, even though it was not a family tradition, and made his debut in 2005.
The last Spanish bullfighter who died due to a goring in the ring was Victor Barrio, who was killed at the age of 29 after being gored in the bullring in Teruel on July 9, 2016. He was the first Spanish matador to die in the arena since 1992.
Fandiño had been invited to take part in the 18th elebration of the San Isidro Fair.
“It’s a tragedy,” said a shocked colleague. “We just do not know how it could have happened.”
Tributes are flooding in on the social network sites, with rancher Victorino Martin tweeting: “Our friend and great bullfighter Iván Fandiño dies in France. A great loss for the world of bullfighting. We are dismayed.”