Far from any debate on bullfighting, Sabine Rouasthe emeritus rider, shows another side of bullfighting on social networks, where Aston has become famous.
At the foot of the vineyards of a town in the east of FranceSabine leaves in the morning on the back of Aston, a bull of 1.4 tons who walks peacefully
While the rider and the bull advance, a man stops his van, puzzled by the scene he has just witnessed, and takes his mobile to immortalize them.
Then, Sabine says between laughs: “Frankly, I didn’t make anything up!”. She is used to these reactions, since in each of her exits, Aston provokes the same surprise, is a local celebrity.
Sabine adds matter-of-factly: “Look at all the people in the world who ride animals like ostriches, camels, elephants…”
As soon as its muzzle appears, this singular bull attracts attention in this region of the Meuse.
And much further, well “Aston is known even in Japan!”says the woman, thanks to the social mediawhich is managed by her husband, Yannick Kirschhoffer, he is in charge of giving the greatest possible echo to Aston’s exploits, which adds 62 thousand subscribers on TikTok, 90 thousand on YouTube and almost the same number on Facebook.
How it all started?
However, Sabine and Aston’s story was rather bittersweet. It begins with a duel, that of the competition horse of Sabine, Emeritus Horseman. “Every rider in his life has a special relationship with a horse. When mine died, I never wanted to hear about horses again.”.
At that moment, Sabine lived in Luxembourg, in a building next to a farm. As the days went by, he watched the cattle and came up with the idea of contacting the farmer. “to get back in touch with large animals”.
“I still had difficulties with the horses, I missed the contact. So I went down to the farm and saw a cow that seemed more interested than the others. I started brushing it. I saw that she was intelligent, that she was learning to give her paw, to greet and to respond to her name.
Sabine was delighted with her new friend, so when the cow gave birth to Aston, a male calf, she bought them both.
“For me, it was the beginning of hell”. In the rush, Sabine had to find a place to keep the cattle. “They told me that I was completely crazy and it is true that I did not know anything about it”.
“It weighs 1.4 tons and has character!”
This strong-willed former business executive sticks to her point: Just like the cats she trains, she believes in the special bond that exists between humans and each animal. And she thinks training Aston might be a good idea. Sabine clings to this bond and… to her reins, because when she tried to tame the steer, she fell 38 times in three months.
But he detected encouraging signs quickly. “Seeing me ride a horse, Aston wanted to do the same”he says enthusiastically. “By watching them, he learned a lot about their behavior, so we leaned on imitation”.
The result? Aston, what now He is 9 years old, jumps small obstacles, makes lateral movements and gallops.
“When people see that, they tell me that Aston thinks he’s a horse and it’s true: he likes to imitate them. So I can only force him to do what he wants to do: he weighs 1.4 tons and has character! If he jumps over obstacles it’s because he likes it!”he states, adding that “I often say that, in terms of breeding, it is very much like a cat. They have a similar character.
Aston’s success led Sabine to introduce it at horse shows, to develop the “Aston the Bull” brand. “Now, people contact me to know how to ride their cattle and I give them advice. Aston is in movies… I still can’t believe it”.