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A new home for the Etruscan Coast Palio? IHP responds: “The Regione should remember also who it is that rescues horses, while the Italian Rescue Centre risks closure”


“Apparently the Etruscan Coast Palio has found ‘a new home’, in Cecina, where the next race will be held on 18 April, the previous ones having run at San Vincenzo.” Sonny Richichi, president of IHP (Italian Horse Protection) challenges the Regione Toscana and the Comune di Cecina, following their decision to support the Etruscan Coast Palio. We would remind Eugenio Giani, the President of the Regione Toscana, who has presented the news as a big exciting and popular event and which the organization that he presides has agreed to sponsor, that unfortunately the horses used in this type of traditional event are passive participants who often end up very badly indeed. And we remind him further that the first Italian horse welfare association, IHP, is actually based in Tuscany, and which is fully recognised by the Italian Ministry of Health, its Rescue Centre for mistreated equines being located at Montaione”.

“Remember too, that the IHP Rescue Centre was previously based at Tignano, near Volterra, where the past two years saw multiple sudden deaths of our horses, 19 in total, deaths which to date the whole veterinary world, both in Italy and abroad, has failed to find an explanation for. And the authorities and local government offices left us to cope alone.  Alone, we managed to find alternative premises at Montaione in the hope that a change of locale would put a stop to the chain of deaths. And so it has been – not one horse has died since we moved to Montaione. But, this move has bled us dry, and IHP risks its own very survival in 2022.

So let us consider that IF, in addition to traditional events where horses are used, as well as the entertainment of locals and tourists, and IF the Regione Toscana really does care about the welfare of these animals,  it could demonstrate this in a very concrete way by financial support for the very association that rescues horses from mistreatment, abuse and exploitation”, concludes Richichi. “Tuscany is the home of the first Rescue Centre for mistreated equids authorised by the Italian Ministry of Health, including intake of many animals who have been legally seized by the judiciary and sent to Montaione by the Prosecuting Offices of half of Italy.  We believe this would be an event that really would arouse the excitement and popularity that so interests the attention and the support of the Local Authorities.”