China hold horse fights in Lunar New Year battles

Hooves clash in mid-air, a stallion bites his opponent while delighted spectators cheer wildly -- in southern China some saw in the Year of the Horse by watching the animals fight. AFP Photo via Yahoo Sports.
Hooves clash in mid-air, a stallion bites his opponent while delighted spectators cheer wildly — in southern China some saw in the Year of the Horse by watching the animals fight.

Horse fighting is a spectacle put on in countries like China, S. Korea and the Philippines (where it is illegal).

The Year of the Horse is stimulating even more of these barbaric events in China. Conducted in front of cheering crowds, blood, gore, and gambling is prevalent.

Yahoo Sports reports:

    Tiantou Village (China) (AFP) – Hooves clash in mid-air, a stallion bites his opponent while delighted spectators cheer wildly — in southern China some saw in the Year of the Horse by watching the animals fight.

    For the residents of Tiantou, a remote village in the Guangxi region, the 500-year-old tradition which pits male horses against each other in a fight over a female was the only way to kick off the Lunar New Year.

    “Without horse fighting it wouldn’t feel like a new year,” said Pan Jianming, whose horse Little Black reared-up on its hind legs and bit its opponent’s neck to scoop victory in a competition this weekend.

    “He stood up and hit the other horse straight away,” Pan, a 31-year-old air conditioner repairman, said.

    “If he likes the female horse, it doesn’t matter how much pain he’s in, he won’t run away,” he added, his black and white shirt stained with blood which dripped from a gash on his horse’s nose.

    “We have medicine to treat his injuries, and he will gradually get better,” added Pan, who claimed a champion’s prize of 500 yuan ($80).

    Horse breeders said that the ideal age for an equine pugilist was between four and eight years. Most animals do farm work when not fighting.

    “Horse fighting is just for fun,” said Pan Yinghong, who held his horse with a rope as animals neighed and whinnied.

    The competitions are also about “glory”, he added.

    “If I win, people will think of me as a horse king, and it’s also good for attracting women.”


We are dialoguing on horse fighting with the Office of Cultural Affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC.

We are also focusing on the Philippines where it is already against the law, pushing for enforcement. We have had limited success because of government corruption.

We keep at them; refuse to go away. And continue to search for new insights and ideas for change.

At the end of the day, change must come from within, from within the hearts and minds of the people of the countries where atrocities against animals are carried out. They will then take up the work themselves and get it done.

One country where animal welfare is taking root is China. Change is slow. It is beginning to bear fruit. in the UK reports:

    Welfare legislation to protect animals in China sounds like a pipe dream when every day the international media reports news of bears held in cages no bigger than their own bodies and tapped of their bile, cats water-boiled alive and livestock thrown to tigers and lions in Chinese zoos – in the name of entertainment, to name just a few.

    But as the world points a finger at China, hope is coming from within the country where a Chinese animal welfare movement is emerging and rapidly maturing – becoming stronger with every documented animal welfare abuse.

    Most recently, repeated reports by the Chinese media about the slaughter of thousands of dogs in China to prevent rabies has sparked a backlash from Chinese citizens calling for China’s first animal welfare law that could see the criminalisation of this brutal animal slaughter and other mistreatment of domestic animals.

    Currently only endangered species are protected in China and this lack of welfare legislation is a major hurdle for NGOs such as Animals Asia and grassroots groups in China.

    Chang Jiwen, the law professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, leading the drafting of animal welfare legislation, said, ‘China has begun to be aware of the importance of animal welfare because it touches on the economy, trade, religion, and ethics …’ he added that enacting such legislation will be no easy task, ‘The future is bright, but the path ahead will be tortuous.’

China horses fight in Lunar New Year battles; Yahoo Sports; Feb. 2, 2014
China’s Animal Revolution Rises;; 2009

Animal-Rights Advocates Notch Another Victory in China; Wall Street Journal; Oct. 9, 2013
Chinese Circus Canceled After Citizens Raise Animal Welfare Concerns, Call For Boycott; Huffington Post; Oct. 9 2013

Horse Fighting Fact Sheet
Horse Fighting Images

15 thoughts on “China hold horse fights in Lunar New Year battles”

  1. I agree with many of the previous comments. Asians may be technically superior to much of the rest of the world, but as a group, they’re missing the empathy chip in their cultural DNA. This is one more heartbreaking animal story from a part of the world that baffles me on many levels.


  2. I don’t buy any food from China, I check all labels and that goes for anything frozen. Some of the stores where I live have bags of frozen cod fish and pond raised cat fish. After seeing photos of what the ponds where the catfish came from look like, not me. Selling Chinese catfish cheaper is putting the folks in the southern states out of business because they can’t compete. The businesses in this country raise clean fish with clean feed produced from wheat. While the ones in China feed theirs sewage or whatever they can throw in the nasty pond.


  3. My comments involving the Chinese or Asian people won’t be so nice….They eat the horses that are exported for slaughter they raise dogs and eat the puppies they eat cats….They are all sick excuses of the human race….They claim to be so advanced compared to the United States with education and technology …..Yet they don’t even allow there families to put any value on there children’s live if they have girls….SICK!!!!….Have you ever encountered any Chinese or Asians in a store be it a grocery store, or a department store they have to be the rudest race of people I have ever encountered…..They disgust me as a race and there culture makes me sick…I try very hard not to buy anything made in China.May all of the low life’s that participate in any of these acts against animals rot in hell where they belong!!!!! Maybe Slaughter Sue should have lived in China!


    1. China and Japan only educate the very best students and even those are sometimes left behind. Therefore, they have those high scores.


  4. I’m glad that China is starting to push for the welfare of their animals. I read something that stated, “Show me your horse and I’ll tell you who you are.” The way people treat their animals reflect back on their morals; even for people. I’ve read that human rights can be very poor there as well. It is heartbreaking because China is such a beautiful country. If they will only improve the treatment of both their citizens and their animals, it would be an even better place.


  5. The Chinese are very contradictory as they have the Year of the Tiger, and still they’ll eat tiger meat and parts with the government looking the other way. The former Current TV documentaries show that the government run Tiger sanctuary has about 6000 Bengal tigers on premises. People can choose to feed live chickens to them just to get a thrill of seeing how they jump up the cage to snatch it off a pole. A tiger will also ride a small horse as part of a circus act – it surely is a disaster for the horse who is so afraid of predators on his back. There are other weird animal acts at the sanctuary. So if Asians watch bear baiting or horse fighting, the thrill seems not out of the ordinary for them, but is barbaric and shocking to us. Hope this changes, it has to — and it really doesn’t compare to the violence of rodeos here either.


  6. Thankfully, there are Chinese animal welfare groups, but those are very few compared to the one billion+ people who will eat any animal — the more exotic the better. Horse fights and gambling is a new shock. It’s time to boycott Asian products because of this, if possible.


    1. I agree Chris. But it is a start. There was a time in China where the idea of animal welfare was totally foreign; non-existent. So I commend the people in China who are courageous to work against a flood-tide of cruelty and barbarity.


  7. Now isn’t this just plain disgusting ?????they do a nice thing Having the yrat of the Horse, wouldn’t ya think they would want to really honor the Horse??????, and then they take it away with this kind of crap????????


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s