Photo Of The Day

? Ngai-bun Wong, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards

? Ngai-bun Wong, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards

Horse fighting in Rongshui, Guangxi, China


With adrenaline pumping, manes whipping and a screaming crowd surrounding them, these two stallions are fighting tooth and hoof as they are pitted against each other in a traditional Chinese horse fight.

Two stallions are led to a Mare in heat, which is taken away when the Stallions are aroused, leading them to fight each other.

If the stallions still refuse to fight then organizers use other methods to anger and frighten them such as whipping the creatures or firing guns in the air.

The stallions are encouraged to fight by the presence of the Mare, which is kept metres away from the clashing pair by a villager armed with little more than a stick.

The horse which successfully defends its position closest to the female horse is declared the winner.

Horse fighting is a traditional sport of Miao Communities in Rongshui Miao Autonomous County. Five centuries ago, the more of a winner you were in horse fighting the more likely you were to win a girl?s heart. Therefore, whenever there was rivalry for a woman?s love, the Miao King would organize a horse-fight competition, with the hand of the woman going to the winner. As horse fighting increased in popularity among the Miao, more and more people began to take part, and horse fights became part of every traditional festival.

The Horse Fight Festival lasts for three days. On the first day, People are busy catching fish for fish congee, cooking sticky rice making sweet rice wine and slaughtering chicken and ducks to welcome visiting relatives and friends. The next two days are for horse fights. A volley of gunfire sounds from a line of rustic guns, bamboo flute play, dragon and lion dances are performed, and then into the fight arena come the magnificent and awesome horses, led by their owners. Miao girls dressed in their full folk finery circle around the bamboo flute players, dancing to their rhythm. The muscled, sturdy horses gathering in the horse-fight ground are itching to fight.

Then it starts, the first pair of horses? pounce each other, they rear up, they bite, they spin round and kick with their hind legs? the exciting and absorbing fight arouses cheers from the crowds of spectators?