As reported in the UK’s dailymail: To the sound of drums and bagpipes, horses leap through flames. But what appears to be a scene from a film about the apocalypse is actually an annual tradition in the small Spanish village of San Bartolome de los Pinares. In honour of the patron saint of animals, men ride their horses through bonfires every year on the eve of Saint Anthony’s Day as part of the Luminarias religious celebration.
Despite the danger such an activity might pose to the animals, the riders actually take part in the fiery festival for reasons of purification and protection. In spite of the event’s noted justification, equine lovers, the world-over, are questioning the event as being a potential form of horse abuse. What do you think?