Italian Carnival Races: Horses Were Raced without Riders in Piazza Del Popolo, Daily Racing Form, 1923-04-27


view raw text

ITALIAN CARNIVAL RACES ■ « , Horses Were Raced Without Riders in Piazza del Popolo. • . Animals Fainted in Colors to Tell Them Apart and .o.i.Ied Forward by Pendant t Weights Studded with Spikes. ♦ ■ The following account of races at an an Italian carnival in Home appears in a book jok by Captain Thomas Brown, published in jn 1830: During the carnival at Rome, among other her amusement.*, they had horse racing, which ich commenced towai u dusk in the evening. As As soon as the sport was announced the coaches, ie£T cabriolets, triumphal cars and carriages Gj of every kind wc.e drawn up and lined the Ihe street, leaving a space in the middle for the the racers to pass. Five or six horses were 2rc trained on purpose for this diversion. * They were drawn up abreast in the Piazza :zci del Popolo. exactly where II Corso, or the nf, race street, began. Certain balls, with lit- !jt_ tie sharp spikes, were hung along the side km of the horses. « hich served to spur them ?m | on. They also hud pieces of tinfoil fastened ed f M their hinder paits. which as the animal Ufa rushed through the air made a loud hissing ng l noise and frightened them forward. As As l soon as they began to run these horses, by by their impatience to be gone, showed that ia - they understood what was required of them and took as much pleasure as the spectators rs in the sport. j ANOTHER STARTING GATE. J A broad piece of canvas, spread across the ne e entrance of the street, prevented them from m * starting too soon and the dropping of the he r canvas was the .,i.;nal for the race to begin n l At the signal the horses fly off together er a and. without rideis. exert themselves to the he I l utmost, impelled by emulation and the shouts ls • of the populace. They ran the whole length th l to of the Corso and the proprietor of the victor or 1 was rewarded by a certain quality of fine ae » of scarlet or purple cloth, which was always ys ■ furnished by the Jews. fa At Ancona a gun was fired when the ie » horses started, that preparations might be dc a made at the further end of the course to to o or receive them. When they had run half If H way. another gun was fired and a third when •n O they arrived at the goal. h Mr. Macgill. in his Travels vol. 1. men- 1- g tions a curious circumstance which took »k b place at a horse race at Ancona. He says s: : si "To guard the course, a great number of f a a Roman soldiers under arms are generally ly w ranged on each side of it. The morning g a after the first race the wind blew from the ie si north and was rather cold. I was sitting g u; us with his excellency the governor. Signor »r gi Vidoni. when a messenger arrived from the ie s general, with his compliments, requesting g ai that the race might be deferred till another w day. as he thought the weather too cold to Q put his troops under arms. The governor * replied to him that, as the weather was s is is not too cold for the ladies, he thought it it tli was not too much so for Roman soldiers. . u I have seen, on a day which only threat- - ra ened rain, a guard of Roman soldiers turn n V, out, every one of whom had an umbrella a Oi Out under his arm. the drummer and fifer alone e —if — excepted." it it K031AN POPULACE ENJOYS THE SPORT. •. l,« This diversion, such as it was, seemed j sc highly entertaining to the Roman populace, although it appeared extremely foolish to B fact * those accustomed to Knglish horse racing. tn the The following account of horse races at t .r Florence is credited to Mrs. Tiozzi : for to "The street is now covered with sawdust t Y.a and made fast at both ends. The starting post is adorned with elegant booths, lined j c0 with red velvet for the court and first nobil- ha ity. At the other end a piece of tapestry is otl hung to prevent the creatures from dasliing I their bruins out when they reach the goal. "Thousands and ten thousands of people j fill the course, so that it is a great wonder f mc to me still that numbers are not killed. ser The priz s are exhibit d to view — a piece of f — — A crimson damask for the winner, a small j na had silver basin and ewer for the second and ! lll£ the so on. leaving no performer unrewarded. tlu the "At last come out the horses, without hls riders, but with a narrow leathern strap t *2J hung across their the the bodies, which has a lump t of ivory fastened to the end of it, all set wa was full of sharp spikes like a hedgehog and this , goads them along while galloping, worse of than any spurs could do, because the faster ; ?,re ered they run the more this odd machine keeps jumping up and down and pricking their , wa war sides ridiculously enough and it makes one ■£* laugh to see that some of them are so " sible , tickled by it as not to run at all, but set vide about plunging in order to rid themselves F* great of the inconvenience, instead of driving for-ward to divert the rac raced mob. who leap, caper and shout with delight and lash the laggers along ™ times with great indignation indeed and with the but , most comical gestures. el01 "I never saw horses in so droll a state Ce the of degradation before, for they were all Cra striped or spotted or painted of some color ma to distinguish them from each other, and "SnU nine or ten of them start at a time to the !°n tories, great danger of lookers-on, I think " tenon, Le" _ etc. etc.

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1923042701_12_1
Library of Congress Record: