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How To Train Riot Horses

26 Jan

Cue the Magnificent Seven theme song. Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Eli Wallach, Brad Dexter – a menacing force riding into town to protect the locals and eliminate a marauding group of vandals. A typical American western flick, and arguably the greatest of all time. Fast forward fifty years and the image of the law atop the four-legged animal is as prominent as it was then.

This time, the intentions are not heroism but duty. Not an assertion of force, but a prevention of chaos. Not cowboys and indians, but riot police and hooligans.

In preparation of tonight’s Copa Del Rey semifinal first leg in Andalusia featuring Seville and Real Madrid, the mounted police have been practicing extensively for any potential crowd trouble. No less than 160 cavalry will be deployed in the surrounding streets outside the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium no ensure that nothing gets out of hand. The above video, shows the preparation for the horses in an obstacle course that mimics real life situations – vuvuzelas, live ammunition, drums, flags, tear gas, and men banging the lids of garbage cans. There’s even a western soundtrack towards the end.

These horses look like something out of Lord of the Rings adorned in armor, padding, and shields!! Word to the wise – don’t pick a fight with these guys.


Madrid Official Shoved to the Ground

20 Dec

Sunday’s encounter between Real Madrid and Sevilla was anything but a visually appealing spectacle – 40 fouls, 9 yellow cards, and 2 red cards. However, a delightful piece of magic from Angel Di Maria in the 76th minute proved to be the only goal, denying Sevilla a point and allowing the Madridistas to keep pace with Barcelona.

While the referee was busy overseeing the boxing match on the pitch, he could do nothing to prevent the confrontation on the sideline between members of both teams’ coaching staffs. At halftime as both teams headed for the locker rooms, Real Madrid’s goalie coach Silvino Louro got into a spat with Gonzalo Hurtado, one of the Sevilla assistants. After some yelling, Louro went after the Sevilla coach and inadvertently shoved Agustín Herrerín to the ground, a Bernabeu official. The older looking gentleman hit the ground rather hard, but was able to get up immediately.

There’s always something troubling about seeing an old man thrown to the ground, although that concern does not seem to affect the Sevilla players, who look more preoccupied with getting inside than intervening in the altercation.

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