The Basque people of Northern Spain have many unique sports and pastimes, but perhaps the most remarkable of all is that of oxen rock-dragging.
The Basque people of Northern Spain have many unique sports and pastimes, but perhaps the most remarkable of all is that of oxen rock-dragging. Fifty teams of oxen took part this year at the main centre for the sport, the village of Berriz, where the annual meeting takes place in a specially-built stadium, and lasts a week.
The idea of the sport is for the competing teams of oxen to drag a 2000-kilo (two-ton) rock up and down a 25-metres (83 feet) cobbled course called a 'calvo', as many times as possible in thirty minutes.
The Basques are natural gamblers, and wager big money at the rock-dragging events, for which the prizes are quite small. Many famous people are interested, including Spanish heavy-weight boxer Jose Urtain, who owns a team, and broke training to attend the meeting.