The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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A lot of my more esoteric sporting desires come from having read, at a very young and formative stage of my life, Daniel Mannix' A Sporting Chance. For a kid, stuck in the concrete jungles of New York City, A Sporting Chance was a welcome addition to the Rasch adventure library. Filled with every sort of unusual and unconventional methods of hunting, it provided hours upon hours of entertainment, diversion, and instruction.
In chapter seven, Mannix rides with the French nobility while chasing stag and states, "The members of the hunt ride hard and well. Broken bones are not uncommon, and to kill a big stag with a dagger requires a considerable amount of courage and dexterity." Any ten year old, especially one with a vivid and very active imagination could be excused for imagining himself riding a fiery steed on the chase!
I have always had a penchant for chasing hogs on horseback. Several years ago I bought Cinnamon, a big, strong quarterhorse with the intention of learning to ride, and ultimately finding hogs to run down. But alas, the injuries I sustained well over 25 years ago, precluded my riding Cinnamon for more than a short while, with hell to pay for two days following!
So Cinnamon got fat and lazy, until I gave him to a good young man who put him to far better use than I ever could.
With that in mind, you all know that I navigate the web far and wide in order to bring to you, my faithful and enlightened readers, entertaining and interesting bits of hunting information. Stuff to get us through the dreary day to day, and whet our appetites for more adventure.
Well I have found a delightful little slice of hog hunting esoterica that will just leave many of us salivating at the mouth!
Imagine my surprise when I found that there is a pig sticking organization, modeled after the Tent Clubs of the British Raj, alive and well in Andalusia, Spain!
Image Credit: The Pig Sticking Club
"Today the “Club de Lanceo Español ”, or “ Pigsticking Club” is the largest institution devoted to preserve this ancient sport by organizing pig sticking parties, coordinating the various teams around Spain, as well as gathering as much literature, art or pictures related to this theme."
Pig sticking was not as organized in Spain as it was during the days British Raj in India, but the CLE has adopted many of the rules of the tent clubs as a basis for their organization and their actual hunting, including team heats.
I took the time to read as much of the correspondence between members on their forum page as my Spanish could tolerate. Of particular interest was a note on the Spanish horses before the English cross bred 15 Spanish mares with three Arab stallions to create the thoroughbreds. I believe the correspondent was Jaime, and in his opinion if the English had not created the thoroughbred, the Spaniards would have finished the job with their own Spanish bloodlines! No less illustrious a monarch than Bonaparte led all his marches with Spanish horses.
Now, another fascinating exchange is that of Ramiro who has been working on a thesis on "Best Practices" with respect to presenting your spear, depending of course, on whether you use the short spear, or the long spear. He has actually studied Baden-Powell's treatise on the subject of pig sticking, and that of Wardrop. His suggestions are based on some very modern concerns of safety, and rightfully so.
Check out their website, it is in both English and Spanish. On the photo page, there is a link "Ver Escena animada" which has some video clips of a few chases.
Next time we cover methods, we are going to discuss the Argentinian style of dogs and knives! If you remember, some time ago I mentioned the Dogo Argentino in one of my posts. We will be revisiting that post and the Argentinians that made it all possible!
Albert A Rasch
Member: Bagram Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...
Hog Sticking Raj Style! Pt I
Hog Sticking Raj Style! Pt II
Pig Sticking: Andalusia, Spain
Hogs and Dogs!