No Running With the Bulls at Canterbury Park

Updated: 08/15/2013 5:00 PM
Created: 08/15/2013 1:19 PM
By: Maricella Miranda

Minnesotans won't be running with bulls in Shakopee after all.

Canterbury Park officials nixed the idea this week following media coverage about the event, said Jeff Maday, park spokesman. Officials were worried about the liability issues involving spectators of the event.

"There were thoughtful concerns voiced," Maday said.

Rob Dickens, chief operating officer for the Great Bull Run, said the company was sad to hear that Canterbury Park was backing out of hosting the event. However, several other Minnesota venues are interested in hosting the Great Bull Run, he said.

Plans were in motion for the Great Bull Run to be held May 10 at Canterbury Park in Shakopee. The event is inspired by the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

Canterbury Park board members also became concerned about the event after a bull got loose last week at the Dakota County Fair, injuring eight people. A woman was airlifted to the hospital with serious injuries.

The park's board on Monday voted against hosting the Great Bull Run, Maday said.

However, several other U.S. cities are planning to host the run, where bulls will be sprinting through fenced-in courses while people try to avoid being trampled.

The first Great Bull Run is planned for Aug. 24 at a drag-racing strip south of Richmond, Va. A second event is planned for Oct. 19 at an Atlanta-area horse park. More events are planned later for Texas, Florida, California, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

In addition to the bull run, the events will include a tomato fight and live music.

Dickens said liability for the event is a "non-issue."

"Responsibility for any injuries that may occur rest solely with the event attendees themselves, who all sign a waiver stating that they know they can be seriously injured or killed, but they still want to participate in the event, so they waive their right to sue us (or the venue) for any injuries they receive," Dickens said. 

In addition, he said the company's entire event series is insured by one of the largest insurers in the world. If anyone did successfully sue the company or its partner venues, the incident would be completely covered, Dickens said.
According to the event's website, the company still plans to host the event May 10 in Minnesota at a location within two hours of the Twin Cities. The venue has yet to be decided.

Bull runs - when the animals are released to run alongside participants as spectators cheer - are common in Spain and can drum up controversy. Injuries often occur, as do deaths, though they are much rarer. Some groups attack the treatment of the bulls used in the runs.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Photo: MGN Online

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