Who likes to watch horses fighting, bleeding and biting each other? That’s right, no one in their right minds. Unless you happen to live in southern China.
China has a pretty poor reputation for the way it treats living things in general. If you’re a human you might be OK, as long as you don’t step out of line too far. If you’re a chicken, a duck, a cat or a dog you’re screwed, but you already knew that. What you might not have known is that if you’re a horse you may well be in trouble too.
Horse fights have been the best way to herald in a new lunar year in southern China for centuries, and now, in the year of the horse they’ve really picked up the pace. The Miao people have carried out these equine battles in southern villages for as long as 500 years. It’s a real crowd-pleaser.
It’s easy for us to judge their animal cruelty from our liberal, well-educated ivory tower but for these guys this is their culture, this is their life. To us it still looks pretty unnecessary and brutal, but to them it’s normality.