“Running of the Bulls of Cuéllar boast of being the oldest in Spain and one of the biggest attractions for tourism in Cuéllar.”
The Running of the Bulls of Cuéllar presume to be the oldest in Spain and one of the biggest attractions for tourism in Cuéllar. This statement is not made for free, because already in 1215, as bishop of Segovia Geraldo, a synod was held since the episcopate had problems with the laity and ecclesiastics of some circumscriptions of the diocese, specifically with that of Cuéllar, Coca, Sepúlveda and Pedraza. The synod dictates a series of articles that regulate the life and behavior of the clergy; specifically the fifth article prohibits clerics from playing dice and attending “bullfighting games”, and if they did they would be suspended from their ministry. Already in the fourteenth century, Queen Leonor, wife of Juan I of Castile, Aragonese infanta by his birth, is Mrs. Cuéllar and complain to the hidalgos and pecheros of the town, and responding to these complaints that speaks is customary immemorial enclose bulls in Cuéllar. Subsequently, Beltrán de la Cueva, I Duke of Alburquerque, ratifies this ruling in all its points. In the Historical Archive of Cuéllar, documents dating back to 1405 are preserved that refer to bullfights. In addition to the Agreements of the Regiment, which already in 1484 order the payment of bulls to two different people, since that year references to bulls are constant in these Agreements, especially to pay the festivities of San Juan and Corpus, although it is also they ran bulls for special events, such as the birth of an heir of the House of Alburquerque or the visit to the Villa of these gentlemen, as well as to celebrate the end of some epidemic.
With the first lights of the day the cuellaranos run hastily to the corrals, it is not long and you have to take a good place to see “La Suelta”. Here the confinement begins and nobody wants to miss it. People on horseback and on foot meet in the corrals of the Segoviano bridge of the Cega River, 3 km from Cuéllar, to vibrate with this moment. It’s 8:00, the moment is coming, the nervous people pound on the door while others seek refuge in the open, the riders wait, until finally the doors open … fear, adrenaline, passion, bulls emerge they leave the corral in stampede, there is great confusion …, it is the moment of the horsemen, who have to control the herd to drive it to the village. Sometimes a bull manages to escape from the riders, people try to find refuge, there are scares, mishaps, some catching … until finally the riders come back to control the situation. Despite the danger, nobody wants to miss “La Suelta”, since it is precisely this that makes it one of the most special moments of Cuellar’s imprisonment.
Running of the Bulls in fields
Now begins the pilgrimage of the courtship of the bulls on the mantle of pine forests. In perfect harmony bull and horse merge with the beauty of the landscape routed its steps through the Queen’s Glen is a unique walk that runs along pine forests, banks, stubble and cultivated fields, for which the bulls, in their instinct for freedom, they will try to flee, which they sometimes achieve, and where the courage of the horse experts will be demonstrated who will work without pause to keep the herd together until the end of the confinement. Dangerous without doubt is the passage of the herd by the mill of “El Botiller”, where it passes from the pine forest to the open field. The chronicles and the
medieval documents that since the end of the XV century (around 1490) it was custom “to enclose bulls” through “loaves and vineyards”. A custom that lasts today with all its strength and beauty, enjoying a huge popular roots. Gently the bulls are driven through newly harvested fields of labor in search of “El Descansadero” in the stubble of the Hontanillas, where the herd rests and the horsemen replenish their strength with a glass of anise and a sweet.
It is the calm that precedes the storm, since moments later, at the edge of 9:30 the riders will guide the bulls to “the Funnel”, union of the route through the field with the urban route, where the first races take place at the same time as the last trots of the horses are heard.
The silhouette of bulls and horses on the top of the hill already appears. The poles point to the sky in a challenging way waiting for the right moment. First silence and expectation, then impatience and finally screaming when seeing the figure of the bulls descending in mad race by the way of “El Ferrero”. In the difficult task of introducing the bulls for the talanqueras, the riders squeeze the bulls in a fast race down the hill, controlling in turn that none of them deviate fulfilling their mission of driving the bulls to the urban center. The moment arrives for the corridors that impatiently await the arrival of the confinement to be able to carry out their careers, it is the urban route.