Palio di Luglio (July 2, 2008)
Yesterday being the feast day of La Madonna di Provenzano, it was time for the entire town of Siena to go absolutely crazy for three minutes of a singular horserace known as Il Palio. After considerable jockeying for position at the start, the powerful horse drawn by Istrice took the lead and held it for the three laps of the Piazza del Campo. At one point the announcer on this clip says of this beautiful horse, "Ma corre, corre come un fulmine!" (he is running, running like a lightning bolt!) Both the rider (Luigi Bruschelli, known as Trecciolino -- known as "King of the Campo" because he has won the race an incredible 11 times) and the horse (Già del Menhir, in his first Palio) were favorites to win. In the last lap the Torre jockey, Alberto Ricceri (known as Salasso), tried to jump onto the Istrice horse, misjudged the timing, and smashed badly into the fence pole at one of the turns.
Hystrix cristata, sculptural depiction