By Chris King • 30 April 2023 • 18:15
Image of Pont Vell in the Valencian town of Ontinyent.
Credit: Google maps - Jose Gandia Calabuig
A tragic accident marred the Bou de les Penyes festivities yesterday, Saturday, April 29, in the Valencian municipality of Ontinyent. Vicioso, a 580-kilo fighting bull was seriously injured after falling from a height of more than ten metres into the river after jumping over a wall.
The incident was confirmed to lasprovincias.es by a person in charge of the Hermanos Cali de Moixent Livestock Farm, to which the bull belonged. “He was sedated, we tried to save him, but unfortunately, nothing could be done”, the bull’s owners explained.
Vicioso was the second bull of the afternoon to appear during the fourth bullfight of the Bou de les Penyes bullfighting day. Everything was proceeding as normal until the animal slipped his rope and got free. He subsequently ran freely along the road until he headed around a sharp curve at high speed.
Upon reaching this bend in the road that crosses the town’s Pont Vell bridge, without even slowing down, the powerful animal leapt clean over the parapet of the bridge, which stands just over half a metre high.
As a result, the bull fell more than ten metres and ended up in the riverbed, with serious injuries, including some to its legs.
“These are unexpected accidents”, said Vicioso’s owners this Sunday at the ranch. “With brave bulls, you never know how they are going to react or behave. In this case there was a low wall, and he came out very strongly. It is clear that he saw it as an opening”.
Veterinarians on duty at the bullfight attempted to help the stricken creature but they eventually realised there was nothing more that could be done to save his life.
Sources from the Ontinyent clubs offered their regret over what happened. Germán Zaragoza, the President of the Federation of Peñas de Bous al Carrer told the aforementioned news outlet: “It was simply an unfortunate accident that does not usually happen. The bull was moving very fast and jumped without seeing what was behind the wall. And, if I’m not mistaken, the veterinary service acted quickly to sedate him”.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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