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Cow fighting is such exciting part of the summer, not just in Valais, but also in the nearby Aosta and Chamonix valleys.

Once winter is pronounced finished, the cows are brought out of their winter stalls and head up the mountain to graze the summer pastures.

The cows naturally fight each other, they choose their opponent, they lock horns, then the first one to chicken out and move away loses. The winning cow moves up in the hierarchy of the herd, and the queen, the cow that beats every other cow earns the right to graze the best grass. As a result she produces the best quality milk, and the most flavoursome cheese.

The local Verbier cows are the black Heren breed, highly feisty and combative females. Each region in the Alps holds its own internal cow fights, then all the winning queens come together for an international contest at the end of the summer.

Cow fights are raw, fun and full of excitement for all ages. Plus, as is mandatory for the local valaisans, there is also unofficial betting, wine and raclette.

The next cow fight in Valais is in Martigny on the 9th October.