Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Kok Buro

Now cast your mind back, think of Rambo, John Rambo, he is in Afghanistan or somewhere around here playing a weird and crazy game, like football yet the players ride horses and the ball is a headless goat! Well this is called Kok Buro and to my luck I got to see it the other day here in Kyrygzstan and boy was it a spectacle.

The Ball, well goat!

The ball(goat) was standing all innocent unknowingly what was its fate, they slashed it throat, off with the head and its hoofs and they game began. Set in a natural stadium like no other, at an altitude of about 3000 meters and mountains towering even higher all around the valley we stood.

Ready awaiting for the game to begin.

Whats going through his mind??
A loan horsemen would gallop away from about 20 riders to place the goat about 200 meters away and then it was on,all the riders would gallop racing toward the goat,the first there leaning right off the horse at full speed and picking up the goat,then before anyone else could get hold of the goat he would try to tuck it under hi leg holding it in place. There are no teams, its every man for himself. It was rough, with horses slamming into each other in attempts to grab the goat from an opponents grasp. These guys could ride, often with no hands whilst at full gallop playing tug of war with a goat against another rider.

Action time, catch me if you can.

The long stretch down for the goat, there goes my hat.
There was no such pitch, just a marked spot where the goat had to be placed by the rider, often the horse mallet would spill in the small crowds direction, we would all turn and run otherwise end up crushed under the pack of horses.

Securing the goat under the leg.

The natural stadium, the players in the background.

The goat has seen better days!

Its mine!
Now of course the locals were interested tin Dirk and I as been the only 'tourists' there all kitted out in our bike gear, gesturing if we could ride a horse, well I stupidly gave the impression I could ride a horse, well I can but not like these mad buggers, so within seconds they had me a horse, what the hell, John Rambo would be proud!! I swung a leg over the grey stead and before I knew it they threw me the goat, it was on, wrestling, with other riders whilst trying to break away with this bloody headless goat hook under my stirrup, hell it was rough, again a thought of what am I doing. Whips flying everywhere, riders geeing their horse into the pack, wow it was mad. After about two minutes I think they let(not think, I know they did) let me break away and place the goat on the spot, which I still missed by a good goat length or so!!

Not exactly Rambo but I tried.

No head locks mate.
Not to be out done Dirk who cant ride a horse thought he needed to come up with something as the crowd focused on him, there stood a donkey with a 5 year old boy on it, the boy got off and Dirk mounted the Donkey, his feet nearly touching the ground, with the goat in hand a horseman whipped the donkeys arse as it shot off randomly around the crowd, everyone hoping he would fall off, well I was anyway, very funny,a cheer went up when Dirk dismounted.

Now here we have John Rambo the second.

Hang on to that might stead Dirk!

The ref of the match.

The end of the day.