Sting and his wife Trudie Styler were at the Palio race in Siena on Monday August 16. 40,000 spectators flocked to Siena, Italy and gathered in the town’s cobbled streets and piazza. What they witnessed was the oldest horse race in the world, the Palio. First held in 1482 the race is famous for its age and frenzied style. Lasting only one and a half minutes, jockey’s ride bare back and race three times around the Piazza del Campo. The race sees the different neighbourhoods of Siena competing, one horse from each of the 17 neighbourhoods can compete and this year’s race saw 10 neighbourhoods contesting for the bragging rights. The race was won by the Tartuca neighbourhood, the Tortoise, with 41-year-old veteran jockey Gigi Bruschelli claiming victory for the twelfth time.
Interestingly, animal rights activists are seeking to get all such races stopped. They claim that the competitions, including Siena’s Palio, are cruel and dangerous for the horses, jockeys and spectators. According to the largest campaign group, LAV (the Anti-Vivisection League), 48 animals have died since 1970 as a result of the race. And two animals have died since 2001, the last time new safety measures were introduced.
Source:, The Independent

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