County May Block ‘Great Bull Run’

RIVERSIDE – Plans to turn loose several dozen bulls at a Temecula Valley polo ground and let hundreds of people go dashing down a track with the galloping beasts aren’t passing muster with Riverside County officials, who said today the event has not been permitted.

”The Great Bull Run” prompted calls of concern this week to officials in the city of Temecula and Riverside County after advertisements about the run hit the web, offering readers ”the rush of a lifetime” during a June 21 running-of-the-bulls at Galway Downs.

According to the official Great Bull Run website, six runs are scheduled, with early registrants paying $35 for admission and same-day registrants paying $70. One ad alluded to the opportunity for participants to have a ”Hemingway moment,” alluding to the famed author’s recollections of the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain, where bull runs down city streets are the high point of the annual celebration.

”Grab life by the horns … as you sprint down a quarter-mile track with up to twenty-four 1,500-pound bulls hot on your heels,” the webpage states. ”Come out and cheer on your friends and family as they participate in the craziest day of their lives.”

There’s a ”tomato food fight” scheduled after each run, along with live music, wine, food and games, according to organizers, who added that similar events have drawn upwards of 5,000 people.

Galway Downs, home of the Temecula Valley Polo Club, is located just east of Temecula, in an unincorporated area off of state Route 79 and Los Caballos Road.

According to Riverside County Executive Office officials, the bull run requires a ”temporary outdoor event application” to be approved by the county, but no such document has been submitted.

Before signing off on the application, county staff would consider the impact the event might have on public safety, traffic and quality of life for area residents and businesses, officials said.

”Riverside County has serious concerns about the public safety and planning-review issues of an event that size,” according to a county statement. ”Hurdles would be difficult to overcome.”

City News Service attempted to contact several Great Bull Run promoters via email, but there was no immediate response.

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