Brutal Horse-fighting tradition

Horse FightWith wild, rolling eyes filled with a mixture of fear and hatred, nostrils flaring, blood already flecking their ragged flanks, two stallions rise on hind legs to fight each other in a dusty arena.

All around them as they bite, kick and snort, an excited, cheering crowd takes bets on who will win.

This horse-fighting tradition, celebrated by China’s Miao ethnic group in Rongshui county, Guangxi province, locals pointed out that it had been going on for 500 years.

The fighting, part of the summer Xinhe festival which asks for blessings on newly planted crops, such as corn, sweet potato and soya bean, is even included on some tourist itineraries in South West China.

One guide explains how two teams of horses, specially selected to be ‘plump, sturdy and energetic,’ are led to the arena and then pitted against each other one by one. They bite each other, turn their hooves and kick the other side heavily. The nervous and fierce fight makes audiences hold their breath or cheer and applaud loudly from time to time," says the guide.

If one horse falls down or runs away, the other one is declared the winner and another two take their place. The winning horses then fight each other. The last two battle it out to be champion.

While the losers are led away to lick their wounds, the sweat-soaked champion is draped in red while his owner ‘feels very proud for having such a brave and strong steed.'

More images after the jump.

Horse Fight
Horse Fight
Horse Fight
Images: NetEase
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Anonymous said…
I think that is the most sicking thing I have ever heard of or seen in my life.I love Horses I have a strong passion for the animal.And to see something like that is very disterving.Why cant the Guy's and Girls that get into this so called type of sports just get out there and fight it out like a bounch of wild animals.Ron Miley
Anonymous said…
I found this article heartbreaking. I have to admit I was totally unaware that in the name of tradition people were instigating such cruelty. Is there no animal on this planet that hasnt been exploited for some humans cowardly wish for violence. I dont understand the need for staging such acts and perhaps I should be thankful for that. I hope we one day evolve into a more humane human being and quickly. Debbie.
Anonymous said…
What is freaking WRONG with people? Can't they see they're killing and/or injuring these poor, innocent creatures? How could anyone stand this violence and cheer for it? How can anyone stand to watch the destruction of such beautiful creatures?

It's pure torture for equine. This is just sad. Is this what people have been reduced to? Pathetic.
Anonymous said…
I am a horse rider and seeing this pic is making my stomach flip. how can people want to hurt these adorable animals horses are for riding not for fighting. and the people who actually get a thrill out of watching this are sick!
Anonymous said…
what is going on! I would love to just go and hurt the people who are organizing these fights as much as they are hurting these poor horses. people who do this to horses...