Spain’s New Animal Baiting Fad: Horse Wrestling

Spaniards seem to have some sort of death wish involving large animals. We know about them and bulls, whether running wild in the streets or in a stadium. Now UNCOACHED has found another Spanish tradition that involves torturing dangerous animals and (we assume) the potential for grave injury.

Rapas das bestas

It’s called the Rapa das Bestas, and it takes place every year in Galicia, Spain. And no matter what the cultural significance might be, it basically boils down to this: it’s horse wrestling. I’ll let BLAME IT ON THE VOICES tell you a little more about this ancient festival celebrating wild horses and the people who assault them:

People gather all the untamed horses in a corral, where men and women of all ages wrestle them to the ground with their bare hands to cut their manes and tales out and brand them. 

So basically, it’s like going to the steer wrestling at the rodeo, but instead of people riding horses to catch and tackle calves, they are just running around trying to taking down the horse. (And unlike what UNCOACHED speculates, the title of the event translates to “Shaving of the Beast” and not “Rape of the Beast” although I think either could apply.) But why they can’t bring in this guy to take care of the horses, I’ll never know:

I suppose that might be something that PETA frowns upon, although I can’t imagine that having two or three people trying to grapple the beast to the ground is that much more humane. Although it does make for a lot of pictures of idiot Spaniards that we can make fun of below:

Horse wrestling

Things started to get out of hand when, in a moment of confusion, someone confused the guy who played Babe Ruth in “The Sandlot” with a horse and tried to take him to the ground.

Horse Wrestling

Because nothing says “calming a wild beast” than blowing cigarette smoke in its face. Although it is Spain, so there’s a 50/50 chance that the horse smokes as well.

Horse wrestling

“OK, I’ve finally got the wild beast on the ground! Time to trim its locks … wait a second … sorry, Pablo.”

Horse wrestling

I thought the phrase “Shaving the Beast” sounded pretty dirty, and this picture does nothing to change my mind.