Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Fighting Stallions - Not Arabian Horses

The Fighting Stallions - Not Arabian Horses

Lori reminded me that a couple of weeks ago I'd used a picture of two fighting stallions. In the background there were throngs of people. I'd used the picture to portray the amount of violence between two stallions involved in the incident on my farm. I'd promised to explain the picture in a later post.

The picture was taken as part of the summer Xinhe festival in South West China. The practice of fighting stallions has been going on as part of the tradition for this festival for over 500 years. The Miao ethnic group in Rongshui county, Guangxi province, believe they are asking for blessings on their crops of corn, soya bean and sweet potato with the events of the festival. In recent years, it has even been included on some tourist Itineraries.

The excited, cheering crowd gathers around the fighting horses taking bets on who will win.

Aside from the obvious fact that this is barbaric, I was amazed to see the spectators are so comfortable sitting there watching this horrific and violent display with no protective barrier between them and the fighting horses. Even those running dog or cock fights set them up in some kind of pen. I know it wouldn't be my preference to be that close to fighting stallions. Maybe this too speaks to the primitiveness of the region.

For me this display was a good reminder of how different other civilizations can be from our own. It's easy to get on the computer where we feel so connected to the rest of the world and forget that there are not just miles between us but also vast differences in principles and ethics. Obviously horses and life in general are not valued in China as they are here in the United States. Stories such as this make me feel grateful to be born here. I can pursue my dream of breeding Arabian horses and know that they will be valued and protected. My Arabian horses will never have to face the fate of the horses in this picture.

On another note, I promised I would write about the mare with her fourth set of twins. I promise I'm working on it. I'm trying very hard to get the facts all straight. It is a complicated story. I will be posting it soon. Hopefully the first post will be tomorrow or the next day.


  1. Thanks MiKael, I had a feeling it would be something like that, makes me very sad to see this sort of thing. It is one thing for it to be happening in the wild as part of the natural process, but for people to actually pit the animals against each other on purpose is horrible.

    Even in the US the protection laws for horses are very lax. In England however, dont be seen to be abusing even animals like your chickens because they hang draw and quarter you. Sometimes I feel they have more protection for animals there than humans. But there again I agree with them wholeheartedly. Some of the things I have seen and experienced here have been very disturbing and make me want to adopt every abused or uncared for horse (or other animal) in the country.

    That is a whole nother story though isn't it, so sad.

    Looking forward to the multiple twins story.


  2. That is an amazing photo. Do they let them fight to the death? The spectators seem so casual. What a horrific thing to watch and take part in. Thanks for sharing the info on this. I enjoy learning about the lives of horses around the world, good or bad. Without education or knowledge, things contiue on without change and in this case, looks like things need to change.

  3. Mikael,

    Thank you for posting this. I'd also be curious if this is a fight to the death. It does remind me of the old cock fighting we hear about and see in movies.

    Do people do this just for the enjoyment of watching two horses kill each other? Or is there some wagering involved on the part of the crowd?