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Every year, hundreds and hundreds of wild horses in Spain are rounded up and wrestled to the ground as part of a Spanish festival that has lasted approximately 400 years. It’s called “The Rapa das Bestas,” which literally translates to “Shearing of The Beasts,” where horses are forced to the ground, wrestled and have their manes and tails clipped. Horses that are born in the year of the festival are then branded.

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Keep in mind that these are completely wild horses in the mountains of North Western Spain, and multiple communities in Spain participate in the event.

Apparently, the first record of the festival was at the beginning of the 18th century. The ‘beasts,’ (horses are not beasts) were brought down from the mountains for cropping and branding. The event coincided with celebration, wine, parties and was primarily done for the maintenance of the horses hygiene as well as for keeping track of the herds.

The event takes place over the first Saturday, Sunday and Monday of July. Herders make their way to the horses, numbering in the hundreds and  divided into over a dozen herds. They live in the wild across acres of land stretching more than 200 km across the mountains.

We wont be able to stop this years event, but we can certainly use our voice and reach to stir up some problems.


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The horses are forced into an enclosed area, where they are again, wrestled, clipped and branded against their will.

Putting (all animals) horses into a state of anxiety, where they are terrified and stricken with fear and pain is something the human race desperately needs to stop. This event causes great distress to these animals, and to think about what happens to them and how they are taken from their spaces of comfort is heartbreaking.

Again, the horses manes and tails are cut. Imagine something like that happening to you? That’s horrifying and disgraceful, and should not be something representative of the human race or human beings. Doing so also removes the horses’ natural defenses from various things, like insects.

“The time will come when humans such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“If a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth – beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other animals – would you concede them the rights over you that you assume over other animals?” – George Bernard Shaw

Human beings kill billions of animals every single year. How we treat animals is a great measure of where we are at as a human race. We are so out of balance with nature that all beings on the planet are suffering everyday. Earth is such a beautiful place, it can be perceived as a paradise but on the other hand, it can also be perceived as hell.

It’s great to meet, know and see more and more people who look into the eyes of an animal and feel love, respect and equality. I cannot believe I live on a planet, and belong to a race of people that treats animals the way that so many of us do, but we can change and still have time to do so.

Take Action:

The event will take place from July 4th to July 7th. Please raise your concerns by sending a personal email to the addresses below:

The Mayor:, (986) 57 00 30

Tourism Office:, (986) 57 52 75

You can find more email addresses and information HERE.

Last year, over 500 horses were sheared, and in 2007 the festival was declared a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest by the Spanish General Secretariat of Tourism.

Related Article:

For The First Time Ever Caught on Camera: Horse Racing Exposed.


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