Drago wins first post-pandemic Siena Palio – Life-style

(ANSA) – ROME, JULY four – The Drago contrada gained the primary post-pandemic Palio di Siena over the weekend.

Zio Frac de Drago, a seven-year-old bay gelding ridden by now eight-time Palio winner Giovanni Atzeni, also referred to as Tittia, stopped a poignant comeback from Torre to win in a photograph end within the iconic medieval bareback race. across the central Piazza del Campo, full of roaring followers.

Solely six contenders lined up for the race after three horses and one jockey suffered minor accidents, narrowing the sector to 10.

Many jockeys and horses had been affected by soreness and bruising after a sometimes eventful run on the twice-yearly occasion, however no animals wanted to be euthanized.

Courting again to the 13th century, the Palio, which means “flag,” is one in every of Italy’s most colourful vacationer points of interest, although many newcomers to the occasion are shocked at how violent it may be and the deep-seated intra-urban enmity it stirs. .

This yr’s first Palio gave the impression to be in bother amid pre-race jostling that compelled the ‘mossiere’, or starter, to name the mounts seven occasions.

However Tittia’s cavalcade to depart all however one within the straggling area as an alternative of bumping and grinding prevented a significant incident.

The long-lasting Siena race, which fashioned the backdrop for the opening sequence of the 2007 James Bond movie Quantum of Solace, takes place annually on July 2 and August 16, though some years have an additional early. of September.

Riders from ten of Siena’s 17 ‘contrade’ or neighborhoods compete for the silk prize within the 90-second race round Piazza del Campo.

The one rule within the competitors is that the jockeys, or fantini, should not seize the reins of their opponents. Which means it is permissible to flog a rival’s horse and even knock a rider off his steed.

Victory goes to the primary horse to finish three laps of the sq., even when it reaches the end line and not using a rider.

The chaotic race in Siena’s fundamental sq. attracts 1000’s of tourists annually who’re largely unaware of the punishment the horses obtain.

However animal rights activists have lengthy campaigned to ban the occasion, saying it’s merciless, has little to do with sporting talent and is harmful to horses, riders and spectators.

Greater than 50 horses have died within the area since 1970.