Onda neighbourhood wins Tuscan horse race
Riders take part in a practice race a day before the Palio di Siena horse race in Siena on August 15, 2013. The traditional horse race on Friday was won by a jockey riding for Siena's Onda (Wave) neighbourhood as thousands cheered a spectacle filled with mediaeval pageantry.
The bareback race around the city centre's Piazza del Campo lasted just over a minute and was followed by scenes of jubilation from hundreds of Onda supporters dressed in the team's turquoise and white colours.
The horse for the Lupa quarter, which has not won the race since 1989, initially led the pack but was overtaken after stumbling on one of the tight corners that make the race exhilarating and dangerous.
The Palio of Siena, which pits 10 horses picked at random for the city's 17 neighbourhoods, is a mediaeval tradition that took its current form in the 17th century and has been held every year for centuries, except for a break during World War II.
It is held twice-yearly in July and August.
The Onda had already won the July edition of the Palio last year and the winning jockey, Giovanni Atzeni, also came first in last month's race, running for a different neighbourhood called Oca (Goose).
Siena is a well-heeled Tuscan city that has been rocked this year by the effects of a budget crunch and wide-ranging investigation into the local bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Italy's third largest lender which is also regarded as the world's oldest bank.