Horse Fighting

Horse fighting is the pitting of two horses in a combat fight. Horse fighting usually takes place at specialised tournaments, sometimes involving dozens of horses.

Horse Fighting is an ancient spectacle, but it has survived in a modern form in a very small number of places including in parts of China. Horses are not normally aggressive towards each other however prior to a horse fight a young mare will be introduced to the arena to stir up sexual rivalry between the two males. In a typical horse fight, two horses are pitted against each other until one wins either through killing or seriously injuring the other.

Spectators will often place wagers on the outcome of a fight and large sums of money will often change hands during horse fighting tournaments.

What is it?

Two horses are pitted against each other in a fight. A winner is determined when one of the horses kills or incapacitates the other.

What you should know

  • The mare used to agitate the stallions into fighting each other is also subjected to severe cruelty. She will usually be tied to a stake in the middle of the arena and may be hit by the stray blows of the stallions. After each fight the mare is mounted by the victorious stallion.
  • Horses often die in the ring from their injuries. Wounded horses will often be killed for their meat, which is then sold to audience members.
  • Horse fighting tournaments are largely organised and controlled by criminal gangs, which can make significant profits through gambling.

What you can do

  • Avoid visiting areas where horse fighting takes place, such as the southern Philippines. Tourism is an important revenue stream, and any threat to this area of the economy can force the hand of police authorities to take action.

Where is this applicable?

Horse-fighting occurs almost exclusively in Mindanao in the southern Philippines, and in parts of China. It is largely illegal but often continues unhindered by interference from authorities.

Links to other organisations for further information

Article contributed by the  League Against Cruel Sports