1996 Photo Contest, Sports, 1st prize

Francesco Cito

01 January, 1995

A spectacular fall in the treacherous San Martino bend of the Palio. To outsiders, the Palio is a colorful 90-second horse race around a town square. To the Sienese it is the very essence of their complex social structure. Sport, religion, bribery, rivalry and adulation are just some aspects of this unique event, held twice a year in honor of the Virgin Mary. Ridden bareback, the ten horses representing different quarters of the town can win even if they have jettisoned their jockey. Glory awaits the victorious quarter, while defeat is considered a disgrace.

About the photographer

Francesco Cito

This image is collected in