Running with the Bulls

(P1) A man has died after being struck by a bull, police said on Sunday, the 10th such death in Spain this year, making it one of the DEADLIEST for the sport of bull running.

(P2) The UNIDENTIFIED man in his late 40s was struck by a bull several times during a run in the north-eastern town of Borriol on Saturday and died in hospital, a local police spokesman said.

(P3) New LEFTIST mayors who swept to power across the country following local elections in May are considering HALTING FUNDING for bull festivals, in which crowds of people run ahead of herds of bulls. Other towns are BOOSTING SECURITY MEASURES.

(P4) FESTIVITIES were cancelled in the town of 5,000 residents following the death.

(P5) This year’s DEATH TOLL matches the record of 10 deaths in bull runs, set in 2009.

(P6) Last weekend alone four men died after being GORED by half-TON fighting bulls in four different towns.

(P7) One of the victims, a 55-year-old man, was caught on video being repeatedly gored by a bull as he lay on the ground in front of a protective BARRIER that separated ONLOOKERS from bull run participants.

(P8) “It is an INEVITABILITY, due mainly to the HORDES of people who go to see the bulls,” said Alberto de Jesus, director of BULLFIGHTING magazine Bous al Carrer.

(P9) Nearly 16,000 town festivals will include bull events this year, nearly 2,000 more than last year, according to culture ministry figures.

(P10) “Town halls always have more bull runs during the year of MUNICIPAL elections,” said Vicente Ruiz, the editor of El Mundo newspaper and a regular contributor to bullfighting blog La Cuadrilla. “The number of FIESTAS increases because they are popular.”

(P11) Most bull runs are held in August and September when towns hold festivals in honour of PATRON SAINTS.

(P12) Ten people were gored this year during Spain’s most famous bull running festival, the week-long San Fermin fiesta in Pamplona in July.

(P13) Some towns have responded by increasing safety measures.

(P14) The town of Perales de Tajuna, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) south-west of Madrid, plans to have five AMBULANCES on STANDBY for its annual bull run on August 30, instead of just two as required by local regulations.

(P15) “First there are FIREWORKS, then a PROCESSION in honour of the Virgin, finally the bulls,” the mayor of the town, Yolanda Cuenca Redondo, said. “The fiesta is what gives the town its identity.”

(P16) Jorge Rosco, a 37-year-old gas distributor who takes part in 25 to 30 bull runs in Spain each year, said the problem is that bull runs had become too crowded with many RECKLESS participants.

(P17) “It is not possible to have more security measures than there are now,” he said. “But there are many more people – so many that sometimes you can’t even climb the safety fence.

(P18) “People don’t respect the bull. They take pictures, they PROVOKE the bulls. It is not a game, they are animals that kill, you have to run with your head, conscious of what you are doing.”

(P19) A 32-year-old Spanish man was gored to death on 8 August near the central city of Toledo after being gored in the neck while filming a bull run.

(P20) The previous month a French tourist was gored to death while trying to film a run near Alicante with his mobile phone.

(P21) The Spanish town of Villafranca de los Caballeros, some 120 kilometres south of Madrid, MADE HEADLINES last month when its newly elected SOCIALIST mayor decided to use its SUBSIDY of €18,000 ($20,500) for an annual bullfight for books and school supplies instead.

(P22) The town is one of about a dozen that has begun questioning whether public funds should be used for bull events, after leftists took power in several Spanish municipalities in May’s local elections.

(P23) Madrid’s new mayor, Manuela Carmena, has vowed that “not one euro of public money” would go in funding bullfights, while several towns are MULLING OVER holding REFERENDUMS on the issue.

WORDS: 660

SOURCE: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/24/man-killed-during-bull-run-in-spain-pushes-death-toll-to-10-so-far-for-year


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Running with the bulls is a tradition in Spain. But do some traditions deserve to die?
  3. What MOTIVATES people to participate in activities that are obviously quite dangerous?
  4. Bullfighting has been BANNED in many areas because it involves animal killing and CRUELTY. What do you think about sports like bullfighting and hunting?
  5. Why would leftist mayors oppose spending public monies on bull-related activities?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Security measures
  • Death toll
  • Patron saint
  • Make headlines
  • Mull over

Cambly Practice Button


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