Tornasol – the horse who defied Siena and 384 years of history

The image above shows last year’s July Palio.

I spent a week in Siena last August watching the preparations for the famous Palio horse race and have written an account which I hope to get published soon. The Palio is a stunning civic and historic phenomenon that is brutal on horses. This July, after a week of trial races and being whipped and spurred round the town square twice daily, a horse called Tornasol decided he’d had enough and refused to run. Viva l’anarchia, Tornasol. The equine revolution starts here.

If you want a brief introduction to the Palio and don’t mind it skipping over any issues related to the actual horses, this documentary unravels some of its complexities:

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