- Associated Press - Sunday, July 11, 2010

PAMPLONA, Spain (AP) — A runner was gored in the leg and three others needed hospital treatment after a very busy fifth running of the bulls at Spain’s San Fermin festival on Sunday, doctors and officials said.

Several other people received roadside medical treatment after tripping and falling in the path of six animals from the Miura ranch, renowned for breeding Spain’s largest and heaviest fighting bulls.

Sunday’s run lasted 3 minutes, 2 seconds and was considered dangerous because the largest bull, a 1,444-pound, red-colored Miura called Cachero became separated from the rest of the pack.

Cachero slipped on the dew-moistened cobblestones of the course and became disoriented among a mass of runners, and his horn injured 37-year-old Juan Pedro Lecuona, a Pamplona resident who runs the course every year, the Navarra press office said.

A 23-year-old Canadian was also among the injured, along with two Spanish men, ages 30 and 40, the government of Navarra said in a statement. The injuries of these three were slight, the statement said.

Television images showed one young runner being knocked unconscious when struck by a large steer, used to help guide the bulls along the slippery 930-yard stretch from a holding pen on the edge of town to the central bull ring. He was treated at the roadside but not taken to the hospital.

Crowds at Pamplona swell at the weekend each year as people arrive from other parts of Spain to enjoy the festival atmosphere.

The runs, eight in all, are the highlight of the nine-day street festival to honor Pamplona’s patron saint, San Fermin, which also features around-the-clock drinking that attracts tens of thousands of young people, many from abroad, eager to mix alcohol with the adrenaline of running alongside massive bulls at 8 a.m. every morning.

Dozens of people are injured each year, with gorings producing the most dramatic injuries. Last year’s festival saw the first fatal goring in nearly 15 years.

Miuras achieved worldwide fame when Italian sports car manufacturer and bullfighting aficionado Ferruccio Lamborghini named one of his iconic models after the breed.

Associated Press writer Harold Heckle in Madrid contributed to this report.

 

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