Hair-raising Domecq

The sixth running of the bulls of Sanfermin 2007, with bulls from the Marqués de Domecq bull-ranch, has been the most hair-raising, dangerous and longest (6 min. 09 sec.) so far this year. Seven people suffered gorings and six runners have also been taken to the public hospitals of Iruñea/Pamplona; three with very serious injured. One of the bulls got separated at the top of the Santo Domingo slope and it had to run the rest of the course alone, charging continuously at various runners along the way. There were several agonizing dramatic moments, especially when this bull charged a young man beside one of the doorways in Estafeta Street. The young runner received a goring to his abdomen and was then tossed into the middle of the street by the bull.

The pack had burst out of the pens in Santo Domingo at a rapid pace and the bell-oxen lead the way yet again. Almost at the end of this stretch one of the bulls slipped up and got separated from the rest of the pack. From here on this bull covered the rest of the course alone and was a continual source of danger to runners during the rest of the course, creating moments of high tension.

In City Hall square the pack began to lengthen and break up somewhat and the rear bull, already separated, charged against runners on the right side of the fencing before quickly crossing to the other side and charging into a group of runners on the left side.

The pack ran on and some of the bulls crashed into the fencing at the corner of Mercaderes and Estafeta. They entered Estafeta even more stretched out. The fifth bull, a chestnut-colored animal, took a few seconds to get back on its feet and the rear bull came up behind and halted as if to turn back. This bull was turning his head left and right and it continued to charge at anything and everything that caught its attention.

The bulls ran up Estafeta in a loose file with four of the bulls still following close behind the bell-oxen and the other two bulls running separated behind. The runners found space to make some fine runs close to the horns and display some spectacular running. Half-way up Estafeta Street the rear bull created some dangerous moments when it charged a runner who had stopped at a doorway and gored him violently in the abdomen before tossing him into the middle of the street. This bull continued to move slowly up the street as it repeatedly stopped and turned back to charge and toss some runners. The situation continued to be very tense but thanks to some good work by some of the experienced runners and the “dobladores” – the bull minders with their poles- they gradually got the bull to move ahead, although it continued to stop and turn back at times.

At the Telefoníca stretch the brown-colored bull charged some runners on the right side and the rear bull coming behind once again charged into several runners on the right fencing leading into the stretch down to the bull ring.

The pack of bulls entered the bull ring little by little. First, a black bull accompanied by the bell-oxen, then four bulls who came up behind in a loose group. But it was the final bull – called “Universal”- who caused gasps of relief when it finally entered the ring, after being the real protagonist of today’s agonizing running of the bulls.