...my treasures do not sparkle they clink,
they shine in the sun and neigh in the night...



Etruscan coast palio, IHP responds: Tuscany should not promote equide exploitation


IHP President, Sonny Richichi, asks for a meeting with the Tuscany Regional Chairman, Eugenio Giani.

Here is the text of the letter sent today:

Dear Chairman Giani,

Further to our letter of 10 June relating to the Tuscany Regional Government decision - in our view, inappropriate - to sponsor the Palio dei Somari donkey race in Torrita di Siena, I now write after reading your enthusiastic promotion of the Palio della Costa degli Etruschi that will be run on 23 April in Bibbona.

In my role as President of the first Italian association dedicated to the welfare of horses and other equids, established and deeply rooted in Tuscany and operating throughout Italy, I feel a meeting with you is urgent and necessary to represent and explain, with supporting evidence, how misguiding and damaging it can be to promote events based on the use and exploitation of these animals.

I do understand that such events have been taking place for decades and that the collective mind might see them as 'normal' and 'traditional' when they don’t question the fact. But this is 2023, and the in-depth knowledge of equids that we have today - thanks to scientific research and ethological studies - tells us that they are passive and forced participants in races and competitions of any kind, even when they do not suffer mistreatment (the news ofthe Palio di Siena jockey being convicted was reported just yesterday).

The Tuscany Regional Government should accept the ethical and moral progress made and promote, instead, activities that condemn mistreatment and fight promote the rescue and recovery of abused equids, rather than risk its image through association with the exploitation of horses and donkeys that a good part of public opinion now sees as outdated and deplorable.

I look forward to your kind reply. In the meantime, please accept my warmest regards.

Sonny Richichi, President of IHP