The escorts receive the other six flags. The parish priest and the mayor on their horses are at the head of the group and they ride along the streets of the village towards the sanctuary. Directly behind the mayor and the priest is "sa prima pandela" and after him the second and the third flag bearers and the men of the escort who defend "sa prima pandela" from the young horsemen who will try to over take him.
Images of the Ardia   If they succeeded it will be a "balentia" which means a brave deed in the local dialect. On the contrary for "sa prima pandela" it would be a defeat and an unacceptable shame. In this part of the festival the warrior's soul prevails over the religious spirit. The group goes towards the exit of the village and its progress is proclaimed to people by rifle shots. There are more than 50,000 people along the course, in the amphitheatre and at the foot of the sanctuary.
As the echo of the shots come nearer, the tension in the crowd increases. At the exit of the village there is "Su Fronti Mannu" where the procession stops for some minutes in order to pray in front of a stone cross with "in hoc signo vinces" written on it. From there one can see the church in the distance.
The procession goes on slowly as far as "su frontigheddu" a small hill which overlooks the church. Here the parish priest blesses the horsemen and tells them to ride with a religious spirit. The mayor and parish priest then ride down the hill towards the steps of the amphitheatre. The horsemen can hardly managed to control their own impatience and transmit their tension to their horses.
The parish priest should start the race but almost always "su prima pandela" chooses the most suitable moment and bursts away at full gallop down the hill.
  Images of the Ardia
This is the most dangerous moment, the speed of the horses is unbelievable, the narrow entrance under the Arch of Costantino grows nearer. The escort protects "sa prima pandela" from the fervor of one hundred pursuing horsemen, who gallop through the rounds of rifle fire and clouds of dust, thrusting their spurs into the flanks of the horses. They try to overtake "sa prima pandela" to get to the entrance of the arch before him. To fail could mean to run into the stone columns at top speed and to risk death, as happened many times in the past.
Only a few, but interminable seconds, then "sa prima pandela" darts under the arch and takes the path that leads to the church.

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