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Spain's horse whisperers round up wild beasts

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Spain's horse whisperers round up wild beasts
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. Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP
16:33 CEST+02:00
The Galician town of Sabucedo played host to its dramatic Rapa das Bestas, or Shearing of the Beasts, festival on Saturday. Here The Local brings you the very best images of the event.

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.

See also: Top ten crazy Spanish festivals

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.

Click here to see all the best images from this year's Rapa das Bestas in Sabucedo.

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