Arrastre de Ganado (Canary Islands, Spain)

Name of sport (game)

Arrastre de Ganado

Name in native language

Arrastre de Ganado

Place of practice (continent, state, nation)

Canary Islands


El arrastre de ganado has been practiced throughout the Archipelago, mainly on the islands of La Palma, Tenerife and Gran Canaria, using cows and oxen for this.
The practice of this sport or exercise is subject to livestock fairs and popular celebrations, where the farmer exhibits the "Coarse" cattle to which he has devoted so much money and care for their breeding and conservation.
Regarding the origin of the Canary ox, there have been some studies that affirm that this animal has adapted to the climate of the Canary Islands, and that it is far from the peninsular breed and the English breeds.
These animals have traditionally been used to plow, thresh and drag weight, but nowadays due to the abandonment of the agricultural activity and the incorporation of new technologies such as the widespread use of the tractor, the ox has moved towards the stables, being Therefore, part of the stable livestock.
Of this animal, we have two varieties:
Canaria, Creole or Basta: it seems to come from the Galician and Asturian blonde races, which were brought to the Islands after the Spanish Conquest. After several centuries of mixing, it can be considered as an indigenous breed.
The weight of the animal ranges from 600 to 700 kilograms.
Palmera: it is quite likely that it comes from the rubia gallega. It is generally located in the North of the Island. The cows weigh around 600 kilograms and the bulls over 800 kilograms. Its color ranges from dirty white to yellowish.


The Tools
Corsa: Grau Bassas described it as an instrument destined to carry large weights that a team drags on the ground. It consists of two thick timbers joined at an acute angle and reinforced with strong crossbars. The wood used is usually usually Eucalyptus (Eucaliptus globulus), since it is quite common to find the branches of this tree in the form of a fork. They are also made of cypress wood and walnut (Chlorophora tinctoria Gaud. Syn), although the latter are more difficult to find unlike eucalyptus.
Yugo: it is another of the elements used in the drag. It is built as a general rule in resistant woods since it is one of the points where the forces are most exposed when making the shot.
Frontiles: it is a way to tie the load on the animal.
Coyunda: strap or rope to hold the yoke to the cows' head.
Vara: goad that the farmer carries to warn the animal.

In Gran Canaria, el arrastre de ganado has a great repercussion, in turn, it bears a lot of resemblance to the dragging of cattle practiced in the Basque Country, where stones are dragged as far as possible, but on our island it remained as a testimony.
The land where cattle trawling is practiced is rectangular, about 50 meters long by 15 meters wide, the limits being indicated by lines.
The drag test is carried out against the clock, having a maximum drag time of 4 minutes, the drag will be guided by the figure of the Boyero or Guayero, using a stick provided by the organization.
Control of the test is carried out by three judges, one on the field, one on the table and one who controls the weight of the drag.
Cows can carry a maximum of 800 kilograms and a minimum of 600 kilograms, while bulls have a maximum allowed of 1100 kilograms and a minimum of 800.

Current status



Sources of information