Locally known as ‘Il Palio’, this epic race has occurred every year since 1656. Held in honour of the Virgin Mary, the race consists of a field of ten horses and riders riding bareback, each of whom represent one of Siena’s “Contrade” or districts. Before the race, the horses are blessed in the church of the respective districts. A magnificent pageant, the ‘Corteo Storico’, precedes the race and flag throwers dressed in medieval garb parade through the Piazza bearing the colours and symbols of their districts. This year, the July ‘Il Palio’ was won by Contrade of La Lupa (Wolf), as jockey Jonatan Bartoletti riding ‘Precious Penelope’, outclassed everyone to win the race at Piazza del Campo. La Lupa has not won since July 2, 1989, and for this reason it was nicknamed by the Sienese as 'Grandma'. Palio Di Siena came to an end with the winning “Contrade” throwing a street party and the medieval streets of Siena came alive with the sound of music, singing, parades and feasts.