The Hérens (aka Valais, Race d’Hérens; Eringer in German; French Herens and Swiss Herens in English) is a dairy/beef breed of Swiss origin that is also known for its cow fighting.
Due to the limited pasture available in the Alpine valleys, various small herds are driven to graze together during the summer months. The dominate cows from each of these individual herds then push each other head-to-head to see who will be the ‘leader’ in each of these new (to them) larger herds. This is a natural process.
But now these cow fights are organized into five different weight classes. Injuries are very rare because the fighting ends as soon as the vanquished cow abandons her ground. The winners of each class are crowned ‘queen’.
A grand finale takes place every year in the town of Aproz (in the canton of Valais) where the ‘Queen of Queens’ in each weight class is crowned before many breeders and spectators. Winners command high selling prices.
The Hérens of France has been imported from Switzerland since 1950 and is small in number. The Hérens of Switzerland (more commonly known as the Eringer) has a stable population of 6,600-7,000 as of 2015.
You can also go to:
The Cow Wall® of Switzerland
My Daily Cow® Switzerland and read about other Swiss cattle breeds.