Human Interest

Ecuador hosts world’s largest donkey race

Quito, Sep 10 (EFE).- The city of Salcedo, in the heart of the Andes of Ecuador, hosted the largest donkey race in the world Saturday, with more than 50 donkeys that trotted through the cobbled streets of the small city – though many stopped halfway without the slightest intention of continuing.

This was the sixth edition of the competition that had to be suspended for the last two years due to the pandemic, but which returned with the best momentum in tribute to donkeys, in danger of extinction in the country, according to Fernando Villacis, a local veterinarian determined to rescue donkeys.

The first race was held in 2014 and the objective then, which has not changed, is to make visible this noble animal that in the past had a great presence in the Andean mountains and valleys, but whose population has now decreased in a worrying proportion – according to Villacis. He said that “they are in danger of extinction,” both in the country and the region.

For this reason, the competition has strict rules on the care of the animal, since it is forbidden for the donkeys to arrive at Salcedo with symptoms of ill-treatment or that they are subjected to blows or other insults in the competition.

“Spurs are not allowed,” as occurs in horse competitions, nor are the riders allowed to use sticks or objects that could hurt the stoic equines who, according to the organizer, have suffered from cruelty and contempt.

The competition takes place through the streets of the “San Antonio Number 1” neighborhood of Salcedo, over a distance of between 600 meters and 800 meters, in which the paths act as stands for the curious people who crowd to the sides to watch the passage donkeys pass. EFE

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