Animals have been closely involved in various sports since ancient times. Animals and the sport they are involved are often closely related to the culture of the nation/ people involved. Bulls/ Cattle

- American rodeo (Bull riding)


Rodeo is a sport that is practiced in the Americas and Spain along with regions in Australia and New Zealand. The sport is popular among the people involved in cattle rearing and in fact it is cattle rearing, that the sport traces its origins to. A person was deemed fit to become a cattle rearer by subjecting him to such tests. Rodeo takes different formats but the most famous ones are the ones involving the riding and roping events. In the roping event, a team of participants, generally riding on horses attempt to rope a calf or bull in the arena. In the riding event the rodeo clown attempts to ride the bull released from the stable for the maximum amount of time

- Chilean rodeo


Chilean rodeo, deserves a special mention as it is the national sport of Chile. Unlike the rodeo sport practised in the US, Chilean rodeo does not involve riding or roping the bull by a single participant. The Chilean rodeo involves two participants ( huasos) riding on horses attempting to steer a calf onto the cushions laid on the sides of the arena. Every right attempt earns them points but a failed attempt , steering the calf against the sides, results in deduction of points. The sport enjoys cult following in the rural regions of the country. However recently the sport has earned the criticism of animal welfare associations who are pressing for a ban on the sport.

- Bull Fighting


Bull fighting is a traditional sport in Iberian peninsula ( Spain and Portugal) and the nations that were colonised by them ( latin America ). The Spanish bull fighting is famous across the world and it attracts quite the number of tourists from all corners of the world. This sport has many historic venues and the most Largest of all venues is tha Plaza located in Mexico City.

The sport involves a bull and a fighter going against each other in the stadium. A particular breed called the Spanish fighting bull is reared for this sport. The bullfighter called toreros in Spanish are almost as famous as football players in the region. The sport is dangerous and life threatening both for the bull and the fighter though it is the bull that often loses its life. It is this very reason that the sport also attracts huge criticism from the animal welfare associations.

- Running of the Bulls


Running of the bulls(Encierro) is another important sport involving bulls in the Spanish region. The sport involves people/ participants being chased by a group of bulls ( Six or more in number). This sport is not life threatening for the bulls but the sheer amount of people participating increases the chances of people getting hurt. The sport has become a huge tourist attraction especially the one conducted in Pamplona as part of the yearly festival of Saint Fermin in the month of July. The participants are generally dressed in the traditional attire which involves white shirt and trousers with a waist band, generally in black and a neck kerchief ( in red). The participants are signalled the arrival of bulls through rockets where bursting of each rocket signlas the entry of bulls in a particular area of the track. The track generally is less than 1000 mts and runs through streets of the town or village. The Pamplona bull running attracts thousands of tourists and is one of the most attended sports in the country.

- Tamil Bull Baiting (Jallikattu)


Jallikattu involves the bull being released into a crowd of people where the participants attempt to grab the hump of the bull and bring the bull to halt. In certain formats of the spoprt the participant is expected to grab on to the bull long enough to remove the flag attached to the bull’s horns or hold on for a specific amount of time / distance. The sport is practised generally in the month of January when the people of Tamil Nadu celebrate the harvest festival ( Pongal) The sport was temporarily banned by the government citing animal welfare concerns. however protests by the people of Tamil Nadu made the government pass an ordinance in 2017 allowing the continual of the sport

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