Santi vs Beast
English | Castellano
Sabucedo, Galicia, Spain 2009
A Rapa das Bestas (literally "The Shearing of the Beasts") is the annual rounding-up of wild horses that occurs throughout Galicia. The largest of them takes place in Sabucedo over three days. The process begins at dawn when what seems like the entire village climb up into the hills in search of the horses. Once brought together in makeshift holding areas, the horses are then driven down the slopes towards the village in a truly community effort.
The actual "shearing" occurs in a stone amphitheatre where, mostly male members of the community wrestle the horses to the ground to have their manes and tails cropped. This gives rise to much bravado and over the years various personalities have come to the fore (see Santi vs Beast below).
The festival has come under criticism recently for the "brutish" way in which the horses are overpowered. Whatever your view of the treatment, the pitting of man vs beast is truly spectacular to watch.