Group calls for end to Palio races

Virgin of the Assumption
Horses crash on the first curve of the dirt-covered course in Siena's main square.
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Animal rights campaigners are calling for an end to the famed Palio bareback horse race in Siena after six of 10 horses crashed during the latest edition.

The LAV animal rights group said Friday the accident on the first curve of the dirt-covered course in Siena's main square was just the ''umpteenth confirmation that the Palio needs to put the safety of the horses and all the participants ahead of tradition.''

One of the horses broke a front leg in the collision on Thursday. Critics have long held the race, a fierce competition among the Tuscan city's quarters, should be held without animals. Horses frequently fall, collide, or are trampled during the race, and some 50 have died since 1970.

The Palio is held each July and August.

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