‘GARROCHA’

15 09 2007

 

This is the target, a ring of about 5 cms. in diameter set at an angle.The garrochista set out at full gallop.

 

Walking, trotting or even cantering are not allowed.

 

It is very easy to miss!But there are those who seem to make it easy, though the trick, once the ring has been hooked, is to keep it on the pole. It must be handed to the judge directly off the lance to qualify.

 

Although this has nothing to do with polo, excellent riding skills are certainly needed, including a ‘good eye’. This time we feature what in Spanish is called carrera de garrocha. A garrocha is variously described as a lance, goad or cattle prod and is used principally at fighting bull breeding or other cattle farms, often to separate a chosen animal from the rest. It is also a countryside ‘sport’ with points given to the ways a rider can ‘turn’ or knock down a cow or bull.

 

This year’s Novena feria in Estación de Jimena, with the riding section organized by the El Estribo association, featured a more innocuous though thrilling sport whereby the garrochista has to hook a small ring on to his pole, not an easy thing to do at all.

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