During Las Luminarias, the festival that takes place in San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain, on the eve of Saint Anthony's Day, scores of riders urge their mounts to gallop through bonfires. Ironically, Saint Anthony is Spain's patron saint of animals. Organizers claim that the festival dates back approximately 500 years, but that is no justification for such abuse. All animals are instinctively afraid of fire, and though the mayor of San Bartolome claims that the horses "don't suffer anything at all," even if they make it through the festival physically unscathed they doubtless experience intense terror when forced to jump through the flames.
We the undersigned ask that either Las Luminarias be banned altogether, or that riders goad their mounts through symbolic fake fire.