The Cowboys of Güéjar Sierra

Granada, Spain.

Once a year the small Spanish mountain village of Güéjar Sierra celebrates its annual horse festival. Eligible girls of the town attach colourful hand-embroidered ribbons to a rope fastened to poles on either side of a village street. The ribbons have tiny rings at their end which the horsemen and boys of the town try to spear through with a pointy instrument the size of a pen, while charging at top speed on horseback. It is an impressively difficult task – they start their training very young.

Throughout the night of the festival I witnessed and long into the next morning the loud gunfire bursts of hoof on cobblestone and the celebratory cries of horsemen rang out through the steep and narrow streets of Guejar, as they loudly toasted their conquests from whiskey filled ‘bota’ bags.