Sheppherds are a main figure in the Running of the Bulls since it first started as in the Middle Ages, when there were no runners on the streets, they were responsible for driving the cattle on foot, either through the country side, as along the streets of Pamplona.
There are now eight toten pastors in the daily Running of the Bulls. Dressed in uniform identification (green shirt and blue pants) and carrying a stick, each is assigned its stretch along the itinerary and are relieved every 100 meters. They run behind the bulls as their mission is to ensure that the herd won´t break up, either turn back and keep away the young runners that run behind the animals.
Sheppherds are experts in handling cattle and the difficult art maintaining all together the bulls. Fun enough, almost none of them are professionals in the Livestock Industry as during the rest of the year their jobs are very faraway from the San Fermin Festival and some work for the government, can be fishermans or or farmers. Besides working in the Running of the Bulls, the San Fermin shepherds are also responsible for all matters relating to the bulls during the Festival. The local people highly value their role. Every day, some time before the Running of the Bulls will start they walk along the itinerary and the people gathered in the balconies will applaud them.
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