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Drago wins Palio ridden with only 6 contrade
Contrada del Drago won the Palio di Siena, 2 July 2022. The Drago triumphed in the photo finish ahead of Torre. Only 6 districts participated in the Palio. After the exclusion this morning of Istrice and Chiocciola due to minor injuries to the horses, before the forfeit of Leocorno (another injury to a horse) and of Bruco after the jockey’s fall in one of the starting attempts.
To bring Drago to victory was the horse Zio Frac, a seven-year-old bay gelding debut at the Palio, ridden by the jockey Giovanni Atzeni known as Tittia. The jockey won his eighth career Palio today. The previous victory of Drago dates back to 2 July 2018. The Contrada in the centuries-old history of the Sienese festival has thus reached its 39th victory.
Drago snatched the ‘Cencio’ from Chiocciola, Pantera, Torre, Valdimontone and Lupa. The winning Contrada was thus awarded the drappellone that this year bears the signature of the English painter Emma Sergeant: it is an elegant figurative work, in which the skilful gouche hatching enhances the representation giving life to that union between the sacred and the profane that the Palio di Siena is able to create. Of great visual impact the head of a horse that dominates the whole central part, the true and only protagonist of the Sienese festival, which releases beauty, strength.
The alignment to the ropes of the horses was particularly agitated, which recorded five false starts starting at 19.30 when the quadrupeds entered Piazza del Campo after the parade of the 17 Contrade Historical Parade, opened by the Drappello dei Carabinieri on horseback . The triumph of Drago took place after 57 minutes from the start of the Career.
The exit of the horses of the Leocorno and the Bruco from the race was not the only twist of the Palio of 2 July initially foreseen with the Career of ten districts. In the morning, after the ‘provaccia’, the mayor Luigi De Mossi, after consulting the veterinary commission, had to exclude two horses from the race, that of Civetta and that of Istrice, due to minor injuries reported by the animals. “A painful decision, but necessary to protect the protection of horses,” said the mayor.