Swiss Cow Fights
There's no Waltz of the Toreadors in the Swiss Alps, and "the running of the bulls" is likely to be the weekend pitter-patter of investment bankers' feet as they sprint to the train that will haul them back to Zürich for Monday's market opening. Still, the Swiss enjoy a bloodless bovine battle as much as the Spaniards love a bullfight, and there are plenty of opportunities to watch cows compete for bragging rights in Canton Valais.
Valaisan cow fights exploit the natural tendency of Hérens and Eringer cows to compete for social dominance. Just as only one wolf can lead the pack, only one cow can be queen of the herd--and she'll do whatever it takes to intimidate the opposition, from mooing nasty threats to locking horns with a challenger and letting push come to shove.
In David's Switzerland Journal, David Pritchard gives a firsthand account of a Swiss cow fight:
If you'd like to witness the sport (and perhaps write about it, like a latter-day Hemingway), you'll need to visit Canton Valais from late March through early October. Local contests take place every week or two, with the heavy hitters competing at the Cantonal Championships in Aproz during May and at Martigny's rodeo-style "Combats des Reines" ("Fights of the Queens") during the annual Foire du Valais exposition in October.
For links to more information on Swiss cow fights, including when and where you can see them, follow the links below.
Top photo copyright © Switzerland Tourism. Used by permission.
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