Dominic Bonuccelli travelled to Spain on assignment for Lonely Planet. You can follow his adventures on Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled, screening internationally on National Geographic. In Morgadans, Dominic captures the rugged locals, their rugged hairstyles and the excitement of the curro, Galicia's annual wild horse wrestling festival.
Around 120 wild horses are rounded-up in the hills above Morgadans and channelled into a mountainside corral. The next morning they will be brought to the outskirts of town for the annual curro.
A sweaty team of riders, most sporting mullets, seem almost centaur-like as they help flush the wild horses from the Galician hills.
A mare and her foal huddle together in a sierra-side corral before being brought into town.
One of the few locals without a mullet, halter stick in hand, surveys the herd before flushing the wild horses into the village.
To prevent a stampede and to round up stragglers, a gauntlet of townspeople brave blasting heat to accompany the wild horses on the path from the sierra corral to the curro.
This rugged Galician mans the gate of the curro, preventing any human or equine transgressions.
Hardy characters with freshly cut reeds await their turn in the curro. Once inside they will wrangle a wild horse, trim its mane, brand it with the mark of their ranch and spray it with disinfectant before releasing it for another year to roam the mountain ridge.
Macho locals with halter ropes try their luck in the curro. Using the pole, they drape the top loop of the rope over the adult horse’s ears, and the bottom loop under its mouth, to tether the horse while branding and trimming; the foals are wrestled with bare hands.