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A number of planning issues and safety concerns voiced by Riverside County have placed the event on a temporary hiatus.
A number of planning issues and safety concerns voiced by Riverside County have placed the event on a temporary hiatus.

The Great Bull Run faces difficulties coming to Southwest Riverside

Friday, February 21st, 2014
Issue 08, Volume 18.
Alex Groves
Staff Writer

The Great Bull Run, an event styled after Spainís yearly "Running of the Bulls," may have trouble coming to Southwest Riverside due to safety concerns and a lack of necessary documentation, according to county officials.

The event would allow individuals to run in a race where they would be chased after by bulls in a secured setting and is similar to the traditional Spanish event where individuals, often villagers of the town of Pamplona, are chased by a small group of bulls through a sectioned off area of city streets.

The Americanized event goes even further in its attempt to capture aspects of Spanish culture with a tomato fight after the race. The fight is loosely based off of another Spanish event, La Tomatina, which happens in the Valencian town of BuŮol yearly.

But all of the decadence and wildness of the event proved to be too much for The City of Lake Elsinore, which declined to hold the event due to safety concerns after receiving a large number of e-mails from concerned residents.

So event organizers brought it to the Temecula Downs Event Center, which is located outside of city limits in an attempt to keep the event within the region.

But the event still may not happen as Riverside County has voiced hesitation over holding it. The event would be difficult to facilitate due to planning issues and safety issues, according to a press release from Riverside County Public Information Officer Ray Smith.

On Friday, Feb. 7 county officials notified the Temecula Downs Event Center they had no right to hold the event because application for a permit was not filed with the county, according to the release.

Smith could not be reached for comment for additional details on how the event might be Advertisement
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dangerous or haphazard Friday. However, he did confirm Thursday, Feb. 13 that paperwork had still not been filed.

Rob Dickens, chief operating officer and co-owner of The Great Bull Run, said he doesnít see why anyone would think the event was too dangerous to hold because there were no serious injuries in other cities to hold the event.

"Running with the bulls is not as dangerous as it may seem from the videos you see on YouTube," Dickens said. "Because all you see on YouTube is just the highlights where people get hit; you donít see that 99 percent of people are out there running and theyíll never get punched or close to a bull."

"In Pamplona, theyíve only had 15 deaths in 103 years," he said. "So letís think about that for a minute: 15 deaths in 103 years ‚Äď thatís a much lower death rate than you have even in professional football, so I would say, obviously, that since weíve had three events so far, nobody has died and two people had injuries."

But the fact that two people had injuries wasnít reassuring to Lake Elsinore City Manager Grant Yates. Yates saw the two person injury over three event track record as more of a mark against the event than something that went toward its benefit.

"At some of these events there were some injuries and we just didnít feel it fit for our community," he said. "You know, and thatís all I can tell you, we look at the pros and cons and this didnít work for us."

Neither Dickens nor representatives from Temecula Downs could be reached after Riverside County announced their opposition to the event, so itís not clear whether the event will still be taking place at this point in time.



Comment Profile ImageRoute 66
Comment #1 | Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 1:09 am
You heard of X-Gamers...Extreme Sports on the Edge.
These Bull Runs should be called, Hemp-Games, Stoners' version2.0. Ya'll are some blazed up el stoopidos...!
Comment Profile ImageLee Chew
Comment #2 | Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 6:07 am
This Great Bull Run sounds like a day of fun with the family. Of course I would only watch the events but I'm sure the day would be a positive in all. Guess the mentioned it's self would be good reason for not allowing it here in Temecula.
Comment Profile ImageC.J.
Comment #3 | Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 11:01 am
15 people dead in 100 years = a 15% death rate. That's all I have to say.
Comment Profile ImageWe have lost
Comment #4 | Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 11:12 am

Your math says it all.
Comment Profile ImageJohn Doe
Comment #5 | Sunday, Mar 9, 2014 at 8:30 am
At no time was I ever in true danger and I ran with the bulls eight times. The people running the event really made us feel secure. Furthermore, you were often running alongside them and not so much with them running right at you that unless you braved it for a bit.

The Tomato Royale was tones of fun too. I can't wait to do it again.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


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