Riderless Horse Wins Palio’s Special Edition

A lone horse, Remorex, crossed the finish line first at the special October 20, 2018 Siena Palio after his jockey, Andrea Coghe, fell off.  The bareback horse race, which normally has a July 2 and August 2 edition, was scheduled to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Marked by fierce rivalry among Siena’s neighborhoods (although not all opted to participate), Remorex and his jockey, known as “Tempesta” (Storm) were the Palio victors for the Tartuca (Tortoise) district which had not won since 2010.  The race was marked by two false starts and an extraordinary number of jockeys who fell off the backs of their horses on the oval race track of Piazza del Campo.

The Palio (painted banner given to the winning neighborhood) was also controversial; instead of the Madonna (the patron of Siena), it depicted a WWI soldier holding a bouquet of flowers and kissing the hand of a young maiden; it was speculated that the image had been copied from a period postcard, although the artist denied this.

To see a photo gallery, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.