The Palio of the Barbaresco
Talking about the Palio di Siena is not at all simple, summarizing the magic of an event that has its roots in the past and which is at the same time a celebration and competition, is a truly arduous undertaking.
It is indisputable that the horse is, and will always remain, the absolute protagonist of the Palio, more than the jockey: if he gets injured he cannot be replaced and he can also win alone, “shaken”, bringing all the strength of the district for which it runs.
But what is the treatment reserved for the so-called “palio horses”? Is it true that they can be subjected to mistreatment, as is very often supposed to be believed? Is there a figure in the contradaiola organization destined to care and safeguard and care for the horse? To give an answer to these questions, we will retrace all the phases that lead to the fateful day of the “Career”, as the “Race” is traditionally called, living them alongside the one who dedicates himself entirely to the horse, in the four days of the Palio : the “Barbaresco”.
The role of this important, but little known figure of the Palio di Siena, requires an intense activity carried out throughout the year, made up of meetings, inspections, knowledge and test runs that take place in the province, to arrive, as prepared as possible, for the final appointment which sees him as the sole guardian, in the four days of the Palio, of the most precious asset of the Contrada, the king of the square, the horse also known as “Bàrbero”.