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Horses leap fires in ancient Spanish festival

General January 17, 2014

A horse and rider pass through a burning pyre in the central Spanish village of San Bartolome de Pinares, on January 16, 2014, during celebrations for the feast of Saint Anthony, patron saint of animalsSan Bartolome de Pinares (Spain) (AFP) – More than 100 horses and riders leapt the flames of roaring bonfires in a small Spanish town in a centuries-old festival that has raised the ire of animal rights activists. Smoke and flames filled the night in San Bartolome de Pinares, a central Spanish town of some 600 inhabitants, in the annual festival held Thursday, the eve of Saint Anthony's Day for the patron saint of animals. My grandfather told me that his great-grandfather took part," said 34-year-old Diego Martin, this year's patron of the festival of "illuminations". "They say it could be 300 or 400 years old," said Martin, this year's festival patron, as he sat astride a Spanish horse, Fiel, and opened a procession of some 150 riders.

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