The race of 'Pariglie'

The race of ‘pariglie’ (meaning either a pair or a group of three horses) takes place in via Mazzini, along a route traced right where the ancient town walls once rose. Indeed, going past the 13th-century tower of Mariano II, the cortege ideally takes the road that formerly encircled the fortified walls of the medieval town, reaching the tower of Portixedda. 
At the end of the parade, along the track of via Mazzini, the horsemen take a few side-streets leading to a secondary road, which ends in a characteristic small tunnel, symbolically marking the start of riders’ daring performances. 

According to their position in the parade, all the ‘pariglie’ taking part to the contest are given a chance to show their equestrian skills. 
Once more, the presence of horses and horsemen on the track is announced by rolls of drums and calls of bugles. ‘Su Brocci’, the small tunnel leading to via Mazzini, directs the ‘pariglie’ onto the church square of San Sebastiano, where valiant riders, after months of hard practice, can give free play to their enthusiasm and riding abilities. 
The series of figures opens with the group of ‘su Componidori’. The utmost care to protect his person and its important role prevent its ‘pariglia’ from trying dangerous performances. So the group of three riders will go down the route, their horses aligned; the two side horsemen will guide, while the head of the tournament will ride keeping his hands on his mates’ shoulders. 

The hazardous equestrian show goes on with riders carrying themselves to spectacular figures. In recent years, haute-école exhibitions have been increasingly marking the uniqueness of this event. 
Again, the last passage on the track is focused on ‘su Componidori’ and his ‘pariglia’. The closing of the race is marked by his ride, which includes a second ‘remada’. This time he is supposed to go down the track with his mates guiding the three horses at a gallop; again, he will lay flat on his horse’s back, greeting and blessing the crowds with ‘sa pipia de maiu’.

Finally, the head of the joust can reach all the horsemen, who greet his arrival in a triumph of applauses, while he keeps on blessing and greeting everybody with his sceptre of violets.

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