Is this the ultimate wrestling contest? The incredible battle of strength between wild horses and man


Aloitadores struggle with a wild horse during the 400-year-old horse festival in Spain called 'Rapa das bestas'

The annual Rapa das Bestas festival in Spain is not for the faint-hearted, as it pits man against horse in an incredible wrestling match.
The 400-year old tradition of Rapa das Bestas, which translates as ‘cropping the beasts’, sees locals attempt to wrestle wild horses to the ground, before cropping their manes.
The horses come from the mountains of Galicia, in the northwestern region of Spain, and are rounded up so that the locals can clip their manes and tails and brand the foals.

The festival sees locals from northern Spain wrestle wild horses to the ground in order to cut their manes

The aloitadores go in packs of three - one who gets on the horse's back, another who takes hold of the neck, and a third to take the tail

The most famous event is the three-day festival held in the village of San Lorenzo de Sabucedo, where the use of nothing but hands, no tools or ropes, is permitted.

As if the process wasn't a difficult enough test of human strength, the horses in 'Rapa das bestas' are wild and untamed

The festival has been condemned by animal rights groups, but locals have defended the festival saying it provides an opportunity to see to the needs of animals that are ill or infected by parasites.
It takes three men (known as ‘aloitadores’) to manage each horse: One who gets on the horse's back; another who takes hold of the neck; and a third to take the tail.

The three-day festival takes places every July, and dates back more than 400 years

They then wrestle the horse to the floor in order to shear its hair to stop it from overheating during the hotter months or brand it if it is a younger horse that has not previously been tagged.
The festival begins on the first Saturday in July, and starts with an early morning mass, prior to the herders heading off at 7am, and goes on into the Monday.
Both locals and tourists are permitted to go in search of the horses and bring them down to the village, although only locals are allowed to be aloitadores.
On the final day the horses are herded back into the mountains, where they are allowed to roam freely for the rest of the year.

source: dailymail