This is the moment a horse collapses as it is forced to carry a cart loaded with sandbags in 40-degree heat as part of a Spanish festival.
The incident took place during the popular horse pulling competitions of the town of Riba-roja de Turia, in the eastern Spanish region of Valencia and the video was shared by the animal rights political party PACMA. Horse pulling sees horses having to pull carts weighed down with sandbags along a course of 50 metres.
In the video, the horse can be seen strapped up to a loaded cart as a man adjusts the straps around its mouth.
The distressed horse suddenly begins trying to walk away as the festival participants push it back to where it started.
The horse then begins walking again before it collapses on its side and the person recording says “bloody hell”.
Onlookers gather around the collapsed horse. Reports state the temperatures reached 40 degrees Celsius and the cart may have been three times the horse’s weight.
PACMA’s coordinator in Valencia, Raquel Aguilar, told reporters: “This video is new evidence of the animal abuse in horse pulling is a rule, not an exception.
“The first time we went to this event, we witnessed images that would break the hearts of anybody with minimum respect for animals.”
PACMA said in a statement: “Although the animal was not hit during the race, forcing a horse to drag a cart that could be three times its weight across a sand track and in temperatures of 40 degrees is violence against animals.”
Raquel Aguilar shared an open letter to the Mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribo, asking him not to allow the practice in the city.
She told reporters: “They (the animals) are suffering and the city council could allow it or not. It is time to leave excuses behind and support the victims, the horses.”
On the other hand, the Mayor of Valencia claimed that the goal of the city council is to reduce step by step “all the elements that could be aggression to animals, because it is the new way of thinking for human beings”.
Horse pulling has been practised in Valencia since the 1940s. The horses pull the weighted carts across a 50-metre sand track with three mandatory stops properly marked by organisers.