Photo: Pamplona bull run (Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
The bulls from the Valdefresno estate in Salamanca were the featured attraction Tuesday of the third running of the bulls at the San Fermin festival in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona, where one of the animals strayed from the herd but no injuries were reported.
The bulls from Salamanca replaced the Cebada Gago ranch’s animals, which were rejected by veterinarians just days before the start of the festival.
The Valdefresno bulls needed just two minutes and 28 seconds to cover the 850-meter (approximately half-mile) distance from the Santo Domingo stockyard to the bullring.
The bulls initially resisted leaving the stockyard after the firing of the traditional “chupinazo” rocket, creating about 10 seconds of uncertainty for the runners.
The San Fermin festival, which started on Saturday and ends on July 14, is known around the world for its running of the bulls and street revelry.
Hundreds of events have been scheduled for this edition of the festival.
The festival, begun about 400 years ago, was popularized by Ernest Hemingway in his 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises.”
The run through the medieval streets of Pamplona’s historic center, usually lasting four minutes, is especially dangerous because some runners take part in the event after all-night drinking binges.
This makes runners reckless and more likely to get too close to the bulls, which weigh in excess of 500 kilos (1,100 pounds).
The running of the bulls is monitored by experts who control the route and try to prevent accidents, but, inevitably, runners fall, suffer cuts and bruises, and are even gored by the animals.
Four people were gored at the 2012 San Fermin festival, while 41 were transported to hospitals and 388 others were treated at the scene by paramedics for a variety of injuries.