Horse Dies After Italian Race

The traditional Italian bareback race known as the Palio has claimed another equine life, prompting protests from animal rights activists, according to the Associated Press.

Alghero, a 6-year-old sorrel, was kicked by another horse before the Aug. 16 race. Municipal veterinarians checked the horse over and allowed Alghero to run, however at the first curve he went down with a fractured leg. The horse was euthanized that night, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.

The Palio is run twice a year during the summer around the main square of Siena, Italy. The horses run on a layer of dirt that is put down as extra cushion for the cobblestone surface. The Palio consists of three laps around the track, with spectators watching from inside the circle.

Saturday's race was won by a horse named Berio, entered by Bruco, the name of the sponsoring contrada, or neighborhood. Siena has 17 neighborhoods that enter the fiercely competitive race.

The race is hard on jockeys, also, with falls being common. A horse finishing without a rider can still win.

A group has been organized to investigate what happened to Alghero and to another horse injured in Saturday's race.
More than 30 horses have died since 1975.

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