Italian horse racing is facing a structural crisis that seems irreversible.The poor bettors generational replacement associated with years of reckless management and political games by UNIRE (National Union Increase Horse Breeds) led to a frightful crisis, made even more worse by the general one of the country.
All budget figures are dramatic. First of all, in 2012, there is a halving of the prize money that are distributed for races to owners of horses better-placed finishers. Even the bets flow is declining,recorded a -25% only in the last six months of 2011 over the same period of 2010.
The Italian Horceracing Federation has announced the immediate closure, with a general strike, from 1 January 2012 of all Italian racecourses, that is the demise of an industry that provides employment for 60-70thousand people and cover an area of 90.000 hectares of land across Italy, with 42 racecourses between public and private.
No exception for the San Siro racecourse in Milan, the geographical focus of this reportage.
The structure, which is divided into a venues for harness racing and one for flat racing, began from a project of the engineer Julius Valerius in 1888, is composed of 1,4million square meters area, of which 45thousand are reserved to the public, 450thousand to the racing tracks, 145thousand to logistics, the remaining to green spaces.
This reportage, aims to tell the state of this sector general crisis, from the perspective of insiders. Understand, through their daily lives, how it was possible to bring down a centuries ancient sport, in less than a decade.
The real risk is that it forever disappears a quaint and charming world, responsible for countless personal and family economic downfalls but at the same time that inspired writers, painters, designers, directors and fueled the dreams of many small owners and punters helping to explain and enhance Italy abroad.
This reportage was realized in the period December ’11-February ’12, as winner of the “Leica 24×36″ competition, commissioned by Leica Camera AG and Polyphoto SpA. In March ’12 was honored by Y’art Project Association as winner of the full scholarship, sponsored by Hasselblad, for the Photo Workshop in St. Petersburg with TerraProject Photographers.