Where does horse fighting take place?
Horse fighting has now been outlawed almost worldwide. It still
thrives, however, in countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, China
and South Korea.
Brutal and inhumane, these spectacles can be anything from featured
events in annual fiestas and thanksgiving festivals to scrappy events
put together by locals for the purposes of an afternoon's gambling and
entertainment, or to honor a special guest.
Horse fighting can take place
in city stadiums or abandoned playing fields in remote villages and
provinces. In more highly populated areas they may also be conducted at
a local racetrack.
Where do the horses come from?
Some horses are bred specifically for horse to horse combat. However,
some are acquired by promoters for their size and sturdiness and
trained for fighting.
What happens to the horses who lose?
Depending on the owner or promoter, horses who are not mortally wounded
or suffer superficial wounds may be treated for future fights. These
horses, however, are considered weak and their lives spared for more
In their next bout, they will be pitted against a
superior opponent and will most likely be maimed or killed. In doing
so, promoters ensure that spectators get the blood and gore they demand
For horses who are not treated for their injuries, this means their
careers as equine gladiators are over, and they are either shot or
It has been reported by visitors that in the remote areas
of Asian countries, some of the horses are butchered at horse fighting
events, and a 'cookout' held afterwards for the spectators.
What is horse fighting?
Horse fighting, or horse-to-horse combat, is a barbaric spectator sport
where two stallions
fight each other in a controlled environment.
are conducted before wildly cheering crowds who are stimulated by the
blood, gore, fury and intensity of the contest. Fighting to the death in this setting is not uncommon.
How do they make the horses fight?
Horses are herd animals,
and in natural circumstances will not only engage in battle for
leadership of their group, but also for mating purposes.
environment, stallions (dominant males) do not fight to the death, but until one of them
backs down or flees. This is nature's way of ensuring that the
strongest bloodlines are responsible for the procreation of their kind.
To start the competition, two stallions are brought in. A mare in heat
is then presented to them and removed.
The horses who do not immediately go into battle for the mare are whipped into a fury or gunshots are fired to
incite them through fear.
As the stallions rise in combat, they bite, kick and strike each other
with their hooves, inflicting serious wounds and injuries until one of
them either succumbs, flees or is killed. The stallion left standing is
declared the winner.
Aside from the physical pain and wounds incurred by the stallions, the
mares are also subjected to animal cruelty, as they are injected with
hormones to keep them in heat for the prolonged periods.
How long do horse fights last?
In festivals, a series of pairs are brought in to fight. The winners of
these bouts then fight each other, until all are eliminated but the
final two. In the deciding contest, the ultimate winner is declared the
champion who is decorated with a special blanket and cheered by the
crowd. It is considered a great honor to own the winning horse.
In provincial horse fights, stallions compete in a series of one-off
matches. Competing horses are often ill-matched which results in
gruesome injuries and even death to the weaker opponent.
Why does horse fighting still go on?
Countries staging horse fights defend it as a cultural tradition that
has gone on for hundreds of years, and resist any attempts to ban it. Gambling appears to be the real and primary reason for its continued existence.