“Beating A Dead Horse” Gone Literal – Shocking Images of Chinese and Philippine Horse Fighting – Equestrians and Animal Lovers Beware…

February 19th, 2008 | by Ginnie | (Visited 86,144 times)

Not to long ago, I published a piece on Guillermo Habacuc Vargas’ art exhibit featuring a chained dog as it died on the exhibit floor. Actual and malicious animal abuse isn’t something that gets as much attention as it probably should, but it’s something that still can manage to shock those of us who’ve seen almost everything on the net.

In this case, it’s horses fighting to the death, for sport, in areas of China and the Philippines. I came across this earlier and couldn’t help but want to spread this. Horses are amazingly adept and intelligent creatures and to see them brought down to this basic of a level is terrible.

Here is some more information:

The crowd roars its approval as the chestnut stallion sinks his teeth into the throat of his opponent.

The terrified victim rears up on his hind legs and veers away in a desperate bid to escape, but it is no use.

Blood is pouring into his eyes and he can no longer see. His right ear is torn and bloody.

Fight club: Goaded into a frenzy by a mare who is ‘in season’ and chained nearby for up to six hours, stallions battle for ’sport’ in the Philippines

** Warning: The images below are violent and possibly unsettling **

The bigger horse moves in for the coup de grace, repeatedly kicking the weaker animal in the head with his front hooves.

His opponent soon collapses and lies panting on the ground, an all too typical end to one of the most horrific spectator ‘sports’ ever devised – horse-fighting tournaments.

But that hasn’t stopped them becoming hugely popular in the Philippines, where these appalling pictures were taken.

“These tournaments are truly barbaric,” says Andrew Plumbly of the welfare group Network for Animals, which has been campaigning to bring an end to the savage contests.

“Our vets have seen horses being kicked in the head so hard that their eyes have popped out of their sockets. Other horses have had their ears ripped off. It’s straight out of the Middle Ages.”

Horse-fighting occurs almost exclusively in Mindanao in the southern Philippines, and in parts of China.

The horrific tournament happened in the town of Don Carlos and involved 54 horses, many of which had gruesome injuries.

Thousands of people turned out to watch the bloodbath, including hundreds of children. Many of the adults were drunk and spent their time gambling and jeering at the battling animals.

Though horses do not normally fight one another, these stallions had been whipped into a fighting frenzy by the presence of a young mare who was “in season” and had been staked to the ground in the middle of the muddy arena.

Overwhelmed by desire, the stallions attacked each other in a bid to defeat their sexual rivals.

These scenes in the town of Don Carlos involved 54 horses, many of which had gruesome injuries

Wounded horses are often killed for their meat and the choicest cuts barbecued and sold to the crowd

Many were soon covered in gashes and bites. Others limped around the arena with a glazed look in their eyes as they pathetically tried to escape.

The tournament was equally traumatic for the mare used as “bait” for the stallions.

Not only was she repeatedly hit by stray blows from the dueling horses, but the poor creature was also obliged to mate with the victorious stallions from each “bout”, meaning that she was mounted as many as 30 times during one tournament which can last up to six hours.

“Horses often die in the ring from exhaustion or their injuries,” says Mr Plumbly, who has witnessed one such tournament.

Veterinary care is too expensive for most owners to bother with, so wounded horses are often killed for their meat and the choicest cuts barbecued and sold to the crowd.

A similar fate awaits those horses deemed too old or too weak to fight. These are “sacrificed” by pitting them against much stronger stallions.

Some break their legs as they desperately try to escape. But the bloodier the injuries, the louder the crowd cheers.

Although horse-fighting is illegal in the Philippines, corruption and lack of enforcement ensure that the tournaments continue – and with apparent official sanction.

Matches are featured on TV, and local businesses sponsor horses and tournaments. Local authorities offer prize money.

The tournaments are promoted as a “cultural tradition”, but in fact they are largely organised and controlled by crime syndicates, who rake in huge profits from gambling.

Thousands of pounds are bet on each fight – a small fortune in a desperately poor country such as the Philippines.

The tournaments are promoted as a ‘cultural tradition’, but in fact they are largely organized and controlled by crime syndicates

Call To Action

Network for Animals is trying to organize to help fight this sport and treat the horses as best as they can. Visit their website (www.networkforanimals.org) for more information.

Additionally, I found two petitions aimed at stopping horse fighting. I don’t know that they’re able to do too much due to these foreign governments being lax on this sort of thing. But either way, if you feel motivated, they could always use the signatures:

Care2 – STOP Horse Fighting in Korea, China & Philippines


Petition Spot – End Horse Fighting!


Here are two related movies on the phenomenon. Again, be wary if this sort of thing makes you uncomfortable. These are not comfortable movies to watch.

Horse Fighting in South Korea

Note: Embedding is disabled for this one – please click the video frame to go to the YouTube link

Campaign Against Horse Fighting

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57 Responses to ““Beating A Dead Horse” Gone Literal – Shocking Images of Chinese and Philippine Horse Fighting – Equestrians and Animal Lovers Beware…”

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  1. 51
    jessica Says:

    for the people that are getting a kick out of this in the picture are sick. i mean, it went from chicken fighting,to dog fighting to horse fighting?? i mean human fighting is nothing NEAR as cruel as animal fighting. its basically killing or injuring another animal for PLEASURE!

  2. 52
    summa Says:

    you are all fucking crule people you get in ther and see how you like it

  3. 53
    summa Says:

    me too

  4. 54
    Nick Says:

    this is fucked up horses come the fuck on ppl is this really what we have come to???
    i say fuck those lil yellow bastards lets catch them and toss them into a ring and say one of you must die before you can leave and we can all watch and throw apples at them and cheer

  5. 55
    Dick Says:

    Nick although I agree that this is all messed up and beyond forgiving, I think the way you look at this is rather disturbing andn no better than those “lil yellow bastards” simply because you’re being racist. Im sure there are a lot of people in their country that are against it and im also sure there are a lot of us lil or big “white” Caucasians that would be happy to place money on these bets.. Lets not degrade to generalization shall we?

  6. 56
    Ari Says:

    It’s sick, but every species is used to fight, including man. It’s wrong to allow this to happen.

  7. 57
    franklin Says:

    There a lot of comments on this page,some are pure anger,some are racial and stereo type like hate slurs.my pure opinion is that there are only a few that really get it!you know what, it! is.most humans are of low intelligence and have mean spirited low IQs ,never thinking above there inner self.if man was created by god and was given free will then there you you have it,no law no order or rules of treating other living creatures with respect and love,even by all of us viewing this and being completely disgusted that another human would do this to a animal gives us some kind of higher feeling,(like, well im not that bad after all,my sins are not that bad, but this is straight evil and cruel so im ok to sin again)so us humans keep on going with our day! exploitation is there because there is a market for it.Its really sad for the years humans have been on earth, that we havent evolved as much as we should be.

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