Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Most Cariocas don’t know that Brazil’s second most popular spectator sport is the “vaquejada”; some four thousand vaquejadas reportedly occur annually throughout Brazil’s Northeastern outback, known as the “sertão”.

What happens in a vaquejada is that a “vaca” (actually usually a steer, not a cow) is penned in a small chute with a gate; two riders (“vaqueiros”) astride trained horses await along a fence in front of the chute, until the gate is lifted. Then, the steer is whacked and . . .

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