A Palio is a traditional horse race held in Italy between contradas, or villages, every year. For this project I followed the contrada of Massarella in the lead up to the Fucecchio Palio.

The race itself only lasts a couple of minutes but it is the traditions and build up to the race that is steeped in history and it is this that was the focus of the photography project.

From large get togethers to talk about the up coming race, to blessing the horse, to the processions in the days leading up to the event, I wanted to showcase the importance of these various stages as well as the passion and tension of the race itself.

Rivalries between neighbouring contradas often boil over as various distraction techniques are employed to gain maximum advantage.