there comes a time in the affairs of man when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation
W. C. Field
The Bull a Spanish Silhouette
The Osborne group was founded in 1772 and is now the second oldest business in Spain.
The Osborne Bull is the black silhouette of a bull that stands on hilltops and along the roadside in many – but not all – parts of Spain. It began as nothing more than an advertisement in 1956 when the Osborne Group set out to promote ‘Veteran’ brandy. The Osborne bull is just under 14 meters. high black silhouetted image of a bull in semi-profile. Nowadays the conservation of the bulls is handled by the family of Félix Tejada.
The first Osborne bull silhouettes were introduced as a four meters high wooden figure. In 1961 they were made from metal sheets to better withstand the weather and their height was increased to 7 meters. There are only two signs with the word ‘Osborne’ remaining, one at Jerez de la Frontera airport, and the other near Puerto de Sant Maria.
Even though the Osborne Bull really is a commercial figure, it’s cultural status as a symbol of all things Spanish is so widely accepted as to create a backlash in some parts of Spain with Catalan’s ripping down any attempt to raise an Osborne Bull and some Basque’s raising a Basque sheep instead.