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Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, which involved throwing live foxes and other animals high into the air. It was practiced by members of the aristocracy in an enclosed patch of ground or in a courtyard, using slings with a person on each end to catapult the fox upwards. Fox tossing would take place in an arena, usually either created by setting up a circle of canvas screens in the open or by using the courtyard of a castle or palace. The result was often fatal for the tossed animal. The sport was especially popular as an activity for mixed couples, with the rivalry between the separate couples adding to the entertainment.
The tossing of foxes and other animals was not without risk to the participants, as it was common for the terrified animals to turn on the people taking part. On occasion, tossing formed part of a costumed masquerade in which the tossed animal as well as the participants would be decorated and masked. Gentlemen would dress as mythical heroes, Roman warriors, satyrs, centaurs or jesters. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fox tossing. The Hunters and the Hunted, p. Fox Tossing, Octopus Wrestling, and Other Forgotten Sports, p.
Hunting Weapons: From the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century, p. Vienna and Versailles: the courts of Europe’s dynastic rivals, 1550-1780, p. The Pursuit of Glory: Europe 1648-1815, p. Sport in Art: An Iconography of Sport Illustrating the Field Sports of Europe and America from the Fifteenth to the End of the Eighteenth Century, p. 20th Century Fox, FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, its regional sports networks, and its international networks. Fox Sports International, an international sports programming and production entity of the Fox Networks Group, which distributes sports programming to various countries.
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