Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fête Nationale de la Race D'Hérens


 Just a gentle reminder,
Laurie will be here soon

The Tigers have a sled at last

Friday night was our last practice before our game on Sunday in Basel, it was a good one although we were a bit limited in numbers.

Traditional Swiss Cow Fighting

Saturday morning came early as I was off to board the train to city of Sion and then a shuttle bus to the village of Aproz to see this marvelous spectacle.

It would complete my European animal trifecta after already seeing the Palio horse race in Siena, Italy and the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

Warning: DO NOT TOUCH ANY
UNEXPLODED ORDINANCE
THAT YOU MAY FIND! 

OH, YEAH!

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The Pre-Game Cow Pen

First fights at 9:00 a.m. sharp

Frothing at the Mouth,
Spoiling for a Fight!

Big Bell 

Speaking of bells . . . 

Every one of the 199 cows in the weekend's competition sports a BIG cow bell. Their sounds echoing off the mountain side backdrop just adds to the fighting frenzy.

I talked to the man who was selling these highly prized cow bells and he explained to me that they sell for anywhere from 300 to 800+ Swiss Francs or about $330 to $875 USD.

Lock Horns 

Getting Dirty 

Facial

Air Born!

Drive Your Legs!!!

Eye-to-Eye 

Three's a Crowd 

Little Help, Please!

About nine new cows were brought out at a time and they just naturally pick someone to fight with in the quest to be crowned the Queen Cow and lead the herds this Summer on their migration to greener pastures. 

Shot to the Throat

Lots of head butting but no blood was shed today from what I saw.

Hold Me! 

Don't you just hate it when
you get snot on your horns? 

Lets get together 

Sometimes the cows need a gentle reminder from the herders of their purpose today.

Pick a partner and have at it!

Hammer Time Soon Enough

Wash your hands before lunch

Charge!

At 11:00 a.m., after two solid hours of one-on-one elimination bouts, the tournament stopped for a 2 hour and 30 minute lunch break.

The cows needed some down time for sure after the morning battles.

I had to have some delicious Raclette 

Raclette Cheese over boiled potatoes,
YUM! 

These Harmonica players were
big during the lunch break 

Not Real,
but still giving milk somehow

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Harmonicas for your listening pleasure

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Roving Troubadors were on hand as well

#140 is named Scarlette

Her fighting spirit and stamina caught my eye in the morning session.

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Here is Scarlette in action

Beats me?

The Sun came out at lunch time

Rib Shot

Head Butting is emcouraged 

Why am I doing this? 

Knee Buckling

I am glad I made the trip to the canton of Valais, this was a very interesting day of sampling a Swiss traditional sport.

Now it's . . .
On to Basel!

2 comments:

David said...

Wait! Who won?

George said...

Two day event, the finals are today.