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HAVING A HEART FOR HORSES

Brigitte Bardot has no problem with men pounding each other to keep a medieval tradition alive -- just keep the horses out of it.

The French actress-turned-animal-rights-activist condemned the Palio, annual free-for-all horse races dating back hundreds of years.

Held each July 2 and Aug. 16 in Siena, Palio jockeys ride bareback and use whips and fists to pass opponents.

Spills are frequent, and sometimes injured horses have to be destroyed.

"I'd like whoever has the power to do so to stop this show," Bardot said. "I hope someone has the heart to intervene."

Speaking Saturday in the Tuscan spa town of Chianciano, where she received an award for her autobiography, "Initials B.B.," Bardot said her sole concern is animals.

"If men were running at Siena, I wouldn't give a fig," she said.

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