Buzkashi: The Goat Dragging Festival

Mar 26, 2011 7 comments

Goat Dragging or Buzkashi is a popular Afghan sport played on horseback in central Asian countries such as Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, northern Pakistan, India and Kazakhstan. Buzkashi can be compared to the game of Polo – there are two teams and players ride on horses, just like in Polo, but instead of the ball is used a carcass of a headless goat or calf.

The goal of the game is to grab the carcass and then get it clear of the other players and pitch it across a goal line or into a target circle. Competition is typically fierce, as other players may use any force short of tripping the horse in order to thwart scoring attempts. The riders will carry a whip, often in their teeth, to fend off opposing horses and riders.


Riders usually wear heavy clothing and head protection to protect themselves against other players' whips and boots. Games can last for several days, and the winning team receives a prize, not necessarily money, as a reward for their win.

The calf in a Buzkashi game is normally beheaded and disemboweled and has its limbs cut off at the knees. It is then soaked in cold water for 24 hours before play to toughen it. Occasionally sand is packed into the carcass to give it extra weight.

Serious Buzkashi players train intensively for years, and many of the masters (called chapandaz) are over forty years old. Playing well also requires specially trained horses that sell today for as much as US$10,000-15,000.









Buzkashi Match In Kabul

Sources: Wikipedia, Reuters, Flickr


  1. Agreed. Humanity is scary.

  2. thats nt dne in india... site admin verify ur sources...

  3. India's got more respect for animal life than we do so I doubt they're included...

  4. You've really got to wonder how on earth anyone came up with the concept of a 'game' like this.
    Absolutely disgusting.
    I felt bad for the goat/calf at first, but after seeing the other pictures, I feel equally -if not more so- for the horses. They're absolutely terrified. How anyone can really be cruel enough to participate in something this barbaric - let alone call it 'sport' is incomprehensible.

  5. This is barbaric. What makes it amusing? Aside from that, India does plenty of other horrifying things, like beat baby elephants with iron rods.

  6. So you're in favor of mass death to prevent the misuse of a goat corpse.

  7. To anyone who finds this disgusting:
    1. An animal killed for amusement and an animal killed for sport is the same thing.
    2. Using an animal's corpse as a "soccer ball" and having it stuffed or mounted as a trophy is the same thing.
    3. If you justify points 1 and 2 by saying that at least you're going to eat the animal or use it for products, it's still the killing of an animal and misuse of its corpse; clearly you don't care about the animal, so you shouldn't be disgusted by these pictures.

    I'm not an against killing animals for food, product, or sport. But I am against hypocrites with half-formed views making stupid comments.


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