The real story behind the prancing horse
Anno Domini 1692.
The Italian Country didn’t yet exist and the peninsula was dominated by Popes, Kings, Dukes and Marquis.
In Pinerolo city, situated in what was called “sardinia kindom”, which included Sardinia Island and Piedmont Region in the north, the Duke of Savoy found his personal cavalry regiment where only the best knights of the country were allowed.
It was called “2° Reggimento Piemonte Reale” (2th Royal Piedmont)
This regiment fought in all the most important battles on the Italian Battlefields in 17th and 18th century untill Italy was born in 1861.
In the year 1909, a young man called Francesco Baracca, attend courses and exercises in the school of the regiment hoping to become a famous knight.
In these years, aviation technology came out, and all the people keep their noses towards the sky, even Francesco.
During his knights activity that bring him to win many horse races, Francesco Baracca tried to entered successfully in the new Italian army air corps and was sent in France in order to achieve the “Military Flight license”.
First world war began and the Italian Pilots were called to defend soldiers from the sky, where Francesco Baracca start to show his courage.
Over seven enemy airplanes went down in front of him and in 1917, Francesco Baracca was appointed as commander of the 91th squadron where all the italians axes were reunited.
Francesco Baracca usually used a black prancing horse on his airplane directly taken from the “2th Piedmont Cavalry Regiment” coat of arms designed by the Duke of Savoy over 200 years before.
After this time, the figure of the prancing horse changed forever.
Baracca died in 1918, shoot down on the battlefield and the prancing horse remained in service in what will become Italian Air Force in 1923.
Right now we can see the black horse painted on the Italian fighters aircraft, but how did it get on the Ferrari’s cars?
Was Enzo Ferrari to explain in 1985 what happened.
The Italian Historian, Giovanni Manzoni, ask to Enzo to talk about the story of the prancing horse by a letter and Enzo replied….
< when I met, in June 16 of 1923, after the Savio Grand Prix, the Count Enrico Baracca (Francesco Baracca’s Dad) he ask me to encounter his wife Paolina and some days later I did it.
She told me “please Enzo, put this symbol of my son on your cars, it will bring you luck”.
I kept the horse black and I’ve just add the yellow on the back, the color of the city of Modena>
Since he was young, Enzo Ferrari loved the poems of Giovanni Pascoli, a famous Italian poet that in 1903 public “Cavalla storna" (Horse come back) that with the baracca's prancing horse make the perfect combination of poems and heroism that Enzo looking for his new brand.
The first appearance of the prancing horse badge on the Alfa Romeo team managed by Ferrari toke place in July 9 of 1932 while racing the 24 Hours of Spa.