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Astuteness and shrewdness play as much a part of the race, as the skill of horse and jockey. 

Horses are drawn by lot four days prior, parades fill backstreets, athems echo in euphoric melody, captains make strategies and jockeys forge alliances to overrule their rivals.

Steeped in tradition, celebration and respect the winning jockey is taken to the Duomo to thank the Virgin Mary along with the thousands who follow.

I spent two weeks embedded with the people of Drago Contrada understanding what the Palio means to them.

 

 

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There are few cultural events that are organised and funded by the passion and dedication of its people than here in Siena. You will find no support from the tourism board looking to entice visitors, this is about the people of Siena coming home to celebrate the holiday period with friends and family.

Relationships between the people in Siena fuel the passion that is the Palio.

Twice every year, Siena hosts the oldest horse race in the world dating back to 1644. It is the embodiment of civic pride with the culmination of a four-day festival that peopl celebrated within thier Contradas.

 

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On the 16th August 2016 Lupa won the Palio, the same Contrada that won on 2nd July 2016. 

Jockey Jonatan Bartoletti and horse Preziosa Penelope won both races.

The last time the same jockey and horse won for the same Contrada was in 1933.

 

A special thanks to all those who contributed in the making of this documentary - Giovanni Atzeni, Silvano Vigni, Irene Panni, Roberta Ferri, Laura Bonelli and the people of Drago Contrada.