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Archive for Saturday, July 8, 2006

American injured in first Pamplona bull run

July 8, 2006

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— An American man was partially paralyzed after a mock bullfight following the first running of the bulls Friday in Pamplona, and seven other people were hospitalized after being gored or trampled by the massive beasts.

Ray Ducharme, a 31-year-old bond trader for Bank of America in Charlotte, N.C., was injured in what is known as a vaquilla, in which hundreds of people chase five cows around the bull ring, pulling their ears and tail. The cows are smaller than fighting bulls and have less imposing horns, but they still weigh hundreds of pounds and can be threatening.

Ducharme, a Bath, N.Y.-native, was thrown by a young cow in the event and underwent a 90-minute operation at the Hospital de Navarra to reattach two vertebrae.

"He is paralyzed in the legs, and will have partial use of his arms," said Pello Pellejero, a Pamplona government spokesman. "He is in very serious condition."

The festival lasts nine days.

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