Race of the Ring

by mirko

"Madonnas, Cavalieri et lo populo tucto" thus opens the call for the Race of the Ring of Narni, this event is held in Narni in the period from the last week of April to the second Sunday of May, the day in which it is held and the race. The event has its origins in the celebrations for the patron saint of Narni, Giovenale, which are held on 3 June.
On the Saturday preceding the race, the town returns to the Middle Ages, through its streets, illuminated by torches, an evocative historic courtyard winds its way, around 600 costumanti, made up of musicians, municipal authorities and the "pontiff" also the three third parties parade, but according to the arrival in the race of the previous year, different historical groups of the city close the procession.
The first edition of the race dates back to 1969 and continues with this format even today. The carousel aims to insert a suspended ring with the spear, an electronic device releases the opponent's ring when the other is taken by the opponent's knight. The path on which the horses run has an elliptical shape. For each district there are three horses and between knights, but only two knights compete for the ring at a time. At the start the horses are tempted by a groom who is forbidden to incite the horse. To have a winner three rounds must be completed, the winners of each round will compete in the final competition for the “Best Knight in the Field” award; the track on which the challenge takes place is delimited by flags, which attribute penalties in case of killing, 5 punished if hit from the outside and 15 points from the inside, the same points are reduced if at the start money if the horse is encouraged by the groom. The rider is eliminated if he goes off the track, if his spear falls or if, following the fall of the horse, he is thrown from the mount. The third party who wins the victory has the right to keep the silver ring in custody until the following year, also has the right to be the first in the procession to return to the premises after the race and the first in the evening procession of the year. following. The prize for the victory is a silk palio worth three pounds of gold, about 20 Cortona soldi. The three districts into which the city of Narni is divided are the Terziere Merzule, the Terziere Fraporta and the Terziere di Santa Maria. Each district owns a stable, where horses are tended and trained for racing, and also its own tailor's shop where costumes for processions and performances are made; finally, “hosterie” where it is possible to eat is activated by the third parties, which represent the only source of financing for the third parties.

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