National Geographic : 1951 Aug
© National Geographic Society 244 Kodachrone by Charles J. Belden Snow-white Oxen Draw the Palio Banner on a Chariot of Triumph An hour-long parade ends when the flag-decked chariot completes its circuit of the Piazza del Campo. Just before the race, each jockey receives his whip as a sign that he has qualified. By then the enthusiasm of some 40,000 spectators has risen to fever heat. The winning rider, usually a professional jockey, becomes a hero. He is bombarded with kisses. Backers wine and dine him; sentimental fans write sonnets in his honor.