Kok Boru in Kyrgyzstan

  • Photographer
    Alain Schroeder
  • Prize
    1st Place / Editorial / Press/Sports, 2nd Place / Editorial / Press/Photo Essay / Feature Story
  • Jury Top 5 Selection

    William Snyder I have seen this sport attempted many times and there's always a bit of a "hole" in the story. Not here. Well done with few redundancies. We could use one less "competition" shot in the edit.

  • Date of Photograph
  • Technical Info
    Fujifilm xt4 and xpro2

Kok Boru is the national sport of Kyrgyzstan. Dead Goat Polo as some refer to it looks more like cavalier rugby with a headless goat as a ball. Two teams of five fearless men on horseback try to score a point by heaving the 20-kilo body into the tai kazan (goal) at either end. Only stallions are used in this game because they are naturally anti-social and eager to fight off rivals. The players train their horses to muscle out other horses in the pack while they themselves wrestle each other to snatch the goat and gallop toward the goal, slamming into the rubber tires of the meter-high mound. 

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