Yet another Escolar bull got left behind in Santo Domingo

Photo: Javier Martínez de la Puente

An eye-catching Running of the Bulls but, at the same time, complicated. The José Escolar fighting bulls featured in this second Running of the Bulls of Sanfermin 2017. This bull breed once again complied with a curious tradition from these last few years – that of seeing one of the six bulls turn back on the Santo Domingo first stretch and run back towards the pens. The bull that got left behind ran with the “sweeper-up” bell oxen and covered the whole course alone. The first reports issued after the bullrunning, indicate that there are two runners who have suffered a goring.

This morning’s Running of the Bulls started out with the six bulls leaving the pens together. However, it was not difficult to notice that one of the bulls was reluctant to run and it stayed in behind two of the bell-oxen. No sooner had it started to run up the slope of Santo Domingo than this bull pulled up and turned back, just at the same point as had happened in previous years with the same bull-ranch, just at the painted line half-way up the slope, marking the limit for runners to cross. After turning and running back down the slope of this first stretch, the bull re-entered the pens. It was only persuaded to come out again when the four bell-oxen, used as “sweepers-up”, were released and the bull ran behind them up the slope of Santo Domingo once again.

From the first, the Escolar bulls ran in front of the bell-oxen when they left the pens and very quickly on the Santo Domingo first stretch of the course they began to create problems for the runners. Here one runner suffered a goring to his gluteus. In the City hall stretch a runner was caught by the charging pack and received a goring to his arm.

The pack covered the rest of the course without causing too much danger and just as these five bulls were entering the bullring, the one which had been left behind now began its run from the pens at Santo Domingo. The first five bulls had taken some three minutes to cover the course as they ran in a fairly tight pack and guided by some good running on the part of the runners. The final bull added another minute or more to the total time as it ran alone all the way.

Estafeta displayed some fine clean eye-catching running, especially with the “late” bull that ran alone. It moved in front of the bell-oxen on this stretch and this allowed the runners to get close to the horns to show some fine running. While this bull that had been left behind ran at a very fast pace, it did not cause any dangerous incidents and it covered the last 150 meters  by running straight ahead and ignoring the runners until it reached the bullring and the safety of the pens.