Expert bull runner Dennis Clancey recaps the events of the Pamplona Bull Run July 7th, which turned out to be a fast, clean run save for one goring. For years, Clancey has been an avid fan of the San Fermin Festival’s most iconic tradition: the daily running of the bulls, locally known as los encierros.
Pamplona Bull Run July 7th Recap with Dennis Clancey
Clancey provides some insight into the history of the Pamplona bull runs, which started hundreds of years ago, and are now ingrained into the culture. The adrenaline-fueled sprint through the streets, according to Clancey, was not initiated as an exercise in bravado but was done for practical purposes. Letting the bulls run was the fastest and easiest way to get the animals into the center of town.
In this video clip, you see two types of bovine participating in the encierro. The clip includes Spain’s best fighting bulls (toros bravos) along with steers, which are younger, castrated males. The steers are less aggressive than bulls and wear cowbells around their necks. The jangling sound of the bells is meant to keep the herd together and moving forward down the street.
This run, the first of the San Fermin Fiesta of 2014, featured bulls from Torrestrella ranch of Medina Sidonia from Cádiz. It was a clean, lightning-fast and very straightforward run, notes Clancey who is well-versed in the perils of the event. There were the usual cuts and scrapes, but only one runner was gored. Clancey has done some excellent runs between Pamplona’s City Hall to the corner of Mercaderes and Estafeta Street, a dangerous stretch called “Dead Man’s Corner.”