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Great Bull Run COO talks to 11Alive

7:06 AM, Oct 16, 2013   |    comments
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The first Great Bull Run in Virginia in August

CONYERS, Ga. -- This weekend, Conyers will host its own version of Spain's famous Running of the Bulls.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the Great Bull Run at Georgia International Horse Park.

But the event has raised a lot of safety concerns for both the runners and the animals involved.

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Rob Dickens, COO and co-founder of the Great Bull Run, told 11Alive News Wednesday morning that his organization does not abuse its animals.

"We can say 100 percent that no bulls were injured at our first event (in Virginia), and we do not torture, abuse or do anything cruel to the bulls," he said. "The bulls simply run from point A to point B, and they're monitored by veterinarians at all times."

Dickens said out of 4,000 runners at the first Great Bull Run, two were injured. One suffered a concussion, while the other experienced both a concussion and a broken hand.

"So 4,000 runners, two minor injuries -- that's a much less injury rate than you'd have at a high school football game," he said.

Dickens added that after the first event, some participants complained that there weren't enough injuries.

"People running wanted more injuries and more danger," he said. "That's what people sign up for. They want that real danger. If there wasn't real danger there, there'd be no reason to do it."

Great Bull Run participants must sign waivers in order to run.

Despite the concerns and complaints, Dickens said he believes the Atlanta event will be a success because of that threat of danger.

"There's no world famous event called 'walking down the sidewalk.' Why? Because there's no danger involved, there's no thrill involved," he said.

Visit thegreatbullrun.com for more information about this weekend's event.

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