MOO-VE out of my way! Cows lock horns in traditional fights for leadership of the herd as tens of thousands watch on in Switzerland

  • More than 100 cows squared off in in the village of Aproz on Sunday to be declared ‘Queen’ of the herd
  • Cows fight in a ring until one has bested all the others and none will stand against her
  • Fights are mostly pushing and shoving using their muscular bodies to show supremacy with injuries rare
  • Cows are not trained or prepared but are naturally territorial and raring to fight each other 

Cows locked horns in traditional fights to be declared ‘Queen’ as tens of thousands looked on during the prestigious festival in Switzerland.

More than 100 cows competed in the final event held every year in the village of Aproz in the southern canton of Valais on Sunday with the winner forcing all opponents to retreat.

Swiss cows are notoriously territorial and will fight with each other when put in the ring, choosing their own opponents until none are left willing to do battle with them.

Unlike bull fighting, cows rarely injure each other in combat as its is mostly pushing and shoving using their muscular bodies to show supremacy, with the loser turning away when beaten. 

Each cow wears a large traditional cowbells that dong with every push during the fight, and the winner is presented with an huge ornate bell befitting her position.

The ‘Queen of Queens’ will lead the herd through the summer and her offspring fetch huge prices for the winning owner. She can then defend her crow at the next championship.

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    Cows locked horns in traditional fights to be declared ‘Queen’ during a prestigious festival in Switzerland

    More than 100 cows competed in the final event held every year in the village of Aproz in the southern canton of Valais

    Cows fight until one of them retreats knowing they have lost the battle and the winner is declared when all run from her

    They are painted with numbers to tell them apart as they do battle in the dirt-filled arena

    Swiss cows are notoriously territorial and will fight with each other when put in the ring

    Cows don’t have the ferocity of a bull fight but area entertaining enough to pull big crowds to every event

    Cows are put in the ring together and choose their own opponents until none are left willing to do battle with them

    A cow kicks up dirt in a show of force as it faces off with opponents in the ring, mooing angrily in territorial fashion

    Unlike bull fighting, cows rarely injure each other in combat as its is mostly pushing and shoving

    Cows are not even trained or prepared in any way and are merely let out on to the field

    Combatants use their muscular bodies to show supremacy, with the loser turning away when beaten

    After many months of being cooped up in their barns over winter, cows are raring to fight each other for territory

    A cow hits the dirt when defeated in battle at the competition on Sunday

    Each cow wears a large traditional cowbells that dong with every push during the fight

    The winner is presented with an huge ornate bell (not pictured) befitting her position that she wears for the summer

    The ‘Queen of Queens’ will lead the herd through the summer and she can then defend her crow at the next championship

    Owners wrangle with their cow from the sidelines – they stand to make a fortune from her offspring if she wins

    A cow rests before or after her fight during the championship while decked out in decorative gear

    The annual final draws tens of thousands of spectators to watch the cows from makeshift stands

    Much pof the seating is on the site of a hill with many standing to get a better view of the fights

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