Cow fights in Valais (VS)

Val d'Hérens

Arolla: Hotel Kurhaus

Arolla: Hotel Kurhaus

Arolla: Mont-Collon

Arolla: Mont-Collon

Arolla: Hôtel Kurhaus

Arolla: Hôtel Kurhaus

Arolla: Pigne

Arolla: Pigne

Arolla: Tsarmine

Arolla: Tsarmine

Arolla

Arolla

Thyon: Dent Blanche et Matterhorn

Thyon: Dent Blanche et Matterhorn

Thyon: Veysonnaz, station supérieure de la télécabine

Thyon: Veysonnaz, station supérieure de la télécabine

Thyon: Les Collons

Thyon: Les Collons

Thyon: Snowpark Centralpark

Thyon: Snowpark Centralpark

Thyon: Les Masses

Thyon: Les Masses

Thyon: Mont-Blanc et Grande Dixence

Thyon: Mont-Blanc et Grande Dixence

Evolène: Dent Blanche

Evolène: Dent Blanche

Evolène: Agence Evolena Sàrl - Evolène, Village - Dent Blanche

Evolène: Agence Evolena Sàrl - Evolène, Village - Dent Blanche

Vercorin: Creux du Lavioz

Vercorin: Creux du Lavioz

Vercorin: Village - Val d'Anniviers

Vercorin: Village - Val d'Anniviers

Dailley: Nax

Dailley: Nax

Mase: le Trappeur

Mase: le Trappeur

Cow fights take place throughout the region in which the Hérens breed has its home (Central Valais, Valle d'Aosta in Northern Italy).

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More than any other breed, these small black cows with short, sturdy horns have retained the instinct to organise themselves into a social hierarchy. In an often fierce contest starting in early spring, it is decided which will be the queen cow leading the herd up to the Alpine meadows.

The fights do not take place in organised fashion; each cow simply chooses her opponent on the spur of the moment. She suddenly stops grazing, lowers her head, snorts, and paws the ground with her hooves. If a cow of similar strength accepts the challenge, she wastes no time in informing her opponent in the same manner. Cautiously, they approach each other. The fight begins: heads clash and horns lock, each cow trying to get a good hold. Then they stand firmly and push with all their strength, the stronger one forcing the weaker to retreat. After the contest, which may continue for several minutes, the loser turns around and runs away, followed by the winner, who encourages the loser to remember "who's boss" by adding a few more blows with her horns.

In addition to these spontaneous clashes, there are also organised fights to determine a regional and cantonal queen: : www.raceherens.ch

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