What a night-mare! Military police officer suffers calamitous crash from his horse during parade for Italy's Palio di Siena race


Ouch! A member of the Italian military police officer is thrown head-first off his horse during a parade on the eve of the centuries-old Palio di Siena race

It was a parade full of pageantry and precision to mark a horse race which has been contested in Italy for centuries.
Until things went just a little wrong for this unfortunate rider.
The member of the Carabinieri - the Italian military police - was involved in a spectacular crash when his horse careered head-first into a barricade.

Catastrophe: The rider is sent flying as the horse careers into the barricade and ends up in a heap on the floor

He, too, was promptly thrown head-first out of the saddle and ended up in a heap on the floor.
The Carabinieri had been taking part in the procession yesterday during the General Proof on the eve of today's race.
Twice a year, every year, almost without fail since the mid-1600s, 10 riders compete bareback around Siena's shell-shaped central square in a bid to win the Palio, a silk banner depicting the Madonna and child.

Showpiece: The Carabinieri put on a spectacular display for the spectators through the streets of Siena

The Carabinieri was founded as the police force of the Kingdom of Sardinia, but became the 'First Force' of the national military during the process of Italian unification.
Although it assisted in suppressing opposition to Benito Mussolini, they were also responsible for his downfall.
Many units were disbanded by Nazi Germany, which resulted in large numbers joining the Italian resistance movement.
Since 2001, it has been one of the four Italian Armed Forces.

source: dailymail