Unique Palio di Siena: two withdrawals, Dragon wins

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It goes to the Dragon the Palio di Provenzano 2022 in Siena, after a move full of problems.

Siena’s first Palio since 2019 is won by the Contrada del Drago, which returns to take the Drappellone for the first time since 2018. Credit to young horse Zio Frac and experienced jockey Giovanni Atzeni. ‘Tittia,’ as he is known to Palio lovers, had moreover won the last two floats run before the pandemic: the 2019 Palio di Provenzano for the Giraffe and the Palio dell’Assunta of the same year for the Selva.

The Dragon managed to prevail thanks to a powerful start, followed by a heated duel with the Panther that lasted for the first two laps. Then in the third lap there was a comeback attempt by the Tower, which had to settle for second place at the photo finish. Both the Drago and the Torre, moreover, had won the last Palio thanks to jockey Andrea Mari known as ‘Brio,’ who tragically passed away in May 2021 in a car accident.

However, there was no shortage of problems at the 2022 Palio di Provenzano, which already saw only eight contrade between the two ropes due to slight injuries suffered during the trials by the horses of the Owl and Porcupine. Before the highly anticipated move, in fact, the Leocorno also had to forfeit its career due to a problem with the horse Volpino, which collided with the verrocchino. The Caterpillar, on the other hand, was withdrawn due to the mighty unseating of jockey Stefano Piras known as ‘Scangeo’ in one of the many botched attempts at a move by mossiere Renato Bircolotti. The Drago and ‘Tittia’ thus won in an absolutely anomalous six-contrade Palio.

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