Big crowds - estimated at 100,000 - packed the beautiful main square of Siena, Italy, July 2, for the traditional Palio horse race, dating back to the 15th century.
GV PAN DOWN.. building to massed crowd in Square.
GV Banner carriers in parade.
CU Banner carrier in medieval costume.
GV Tossing banners.
GTV Throwing banners.
GV "Garroccio" - horse-drawn cart - with altar in procession.
GV Horses leaving stables.
GV Horses parading.
GV Start of race.
GTV Horses around square.
GV Horses around dangerous bend.
GV Horses down straight, around for the second time.
GTV Nuns observe racing from roof.
GV PAN.. Winner rounds the bend and passes finishing line, pistol is fired.
GV Crowd onto track after winner.
GV Crowds chasing banner carriers.
TV Free for all.
GV Crowd parade around square with banners.
SPORT: HORSE RACING
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Background: Big crowds - estimated at 100,000 - packed the beautiful main square of Siena, Italy, July 2, for the traditional Palio horse race, dating back to the 15th century.
Before the race, a ceremonial procession, made colourful with medieval dress. Near the front are the banners dextrously thrown into the air and caught by the banner carriers: then comes the horse-drawn carriage bearing an altar, and following this, the heralds with their silver trumpets.
The starter's gun is fired, and the race breaks forth in full fury. No holds are barred in this 3-lap scramble for the winning post, saddles are "out", and if a competitor falls off, the horse alone can go on to win. Competitors represent different districts of the city.