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Horses and jockeys compete in a general practice of the Palio horse race on the eve of the competition on July 1, 2009 on Piazza del Campo in Siena, Tuscany. The Palio races which take place twice a year on July 2 and August 16, are traditional horse races which started in 1656 and are dedicated to Virgin Mary and to Madonna of Provenzano. Horses and jockeys of the 17 areas (contrade) of the city, dressed in the appropriate colors of their wards, compete ten by ten, after a magnificient pageant, the Corteo Storico. AFP PHOTO / Fabio Muzzi (Photo credit should read FABIO MUZZI/AFP/Getty Images)