Spain's horse whisperers round up wild beasts
The Local · 7 Jul 2014, 16:33
Published: 07 Jul 2014 16:33 GMT+02:00
The Rapa das Bestas takes place in the town of Sabucedo in Pontevedra every year on the first weekend of July — one of a number of such events in the Spain's Galicia region.
This 400-year-old festival sees hundreds of wild horses rounded up from the mountains where they live semi-wild for most of the year.
The animals are then herded into a small arena and bedlam ensues as they not only have their manes trimmed but also get branded.
Oral tradition says the tradition started during a terrible outbreak of plague Two brothers appealed to the village's patron saint San Lorenzo for protection, giving up two "beasts" as offerings, and as a sign of thanks.
Historical sources suggest there was such a plague outbreak in the area in the 16th century, according to local newspaper Faro de Vigo.