Thousands of people have flocked to the northeastern German city of Dülmen for an annual equine spectacle: wild horse wrangling, German-style.
Horse lovers from across Germany and beyond gathered at the Merfelder Bruch nature conservation area near Dülmen each May to be part of the popular wild horse wrangling festival. It's a spectacle like no other in Germany: several hundred non-domesticated horses roam through the vast arena, kicking up sand and dust while the wranglers get to catch the animals. Those that are captured are auctioned off later.
The annual round-up is a crowd-pleaser as much as it is an exercise in animal conservation: Rudolf Herzog von Croy, the owner of 360-hectare ranch where the horses roam, explains that without the spectacle there would be too many equines on his land, which would exacerbate rivalries, especially among males.
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In 2017, about 10 percent of the 400 wild horses were rounded up and auctioned off. The returns from the auction helps with the ongoing preservation of the team of wild horses.