Passion

The début of the Prancing Horse

The début of the Prancing Horse

The black horse first appeared on the Scuderia cars on 9 July 1932 at the Spa 24 Hours

The history of the Prancing Horse is both interesting and unusual. The symbol had been painted on the fuselage of the warplane flown by Francesco Baracca, the well-known Italian aviation ace of the First World War period. Although this brought it fame and admiration, it wasn't until 1932 that the Prancing Horse became a legend and a synonym for both beauty and success.

The prancing horse symbol belonged to Ace pilot Francesco Baracca and was gifted to Enzo Ferrari
The prancing horse symbol belonged to Ace pilot Francesco Baracca and was gifted to Enzo Ferrari

On 17 June 1923, a unique encounter intertwined the destinies of the Prancing Horse and Enzo Ferrari forever. Enzo Ferrari wrote about that encounter: 'When I won my first Savio Circuit in Ravenna in 1923, I met Count Enrico Baracca and Countess Paolina, parents of the flying hero. One day the Countess said to me, "Ferrari, why don't you put my son's prancing horse on your cars? It'll bring you good luck." The Horse was and will always be black; I added the canary yellow background, the colour of the city of Modena.'

Still, the Prancing Horse symbol would not appear on Scuderia Ferrari cars until 9 July 1932. Of course, it was put on the Alfa Romeo cars used by Scuderia at the time. The event was the Spa 24 Hours, a classic endurance race held on the demanding circuit made up of roads linking villages in the Belgian Ardennes. That black Prancing Horse really did bring Ferrari luck – the race was dominated by the Scuderia's 8C 2300 MM. Antonio Brivio and Eugenio Siena won, crossing the finish line just before the car driven by their team-mates, Piero Taruffi and Guido D'Ippolito.

The line-up before the start of the Grand Prix in Tunisia, 1932 <em>Photo: Getty Images</em>
The line-up before the start of the Grand Prix in Tunisia, 1932 Photo: Getty Images

When Ferrari was founded in 1947, the car manufacturer took the emblem for its brand. Today it is stronger than ever and famous throughout the world. Naturally, it was seen on the 125 S, the first ever Ferrari, and it accompanied Franco Cortese to the Rome Grand Prix that year at the Terme di Caracalla circuit where he secured the first victory for a car built in Maranello.

Scuderia Ferrari and the illustrious Prancing Horse have become the most successful team in history. They have earned thousands of victories at the world's most prestigious races, including Formula 1 ‒ where they have won 16 World Constructors' titles and 15 World Drivers' titles ‒ endurance races ‒ with nine victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, two at Daytona and five FIA WEC titles ‒ high-speed races and even rallies.

 

 

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