From the Catalan sotilla, or ring, Sartiglia of Oristano is one of the last races to the ring that is still running in the Mediterranean area. The oldest document showing the carousel of the oristanese dates back to 1547. There are some indirect references to the performance of jousts and tournaments in the city in the Middle Ages, when Oristano was the capital of the medieval kingdom of Arborea (X-XV cent.).The Sartiglia of Oristano, as well as Quintana rides the Saracen, refer to its most distant origins in military training of riders, starting from the tenth until the fourteenth century, they trained for war exercises with hand eye coordination trying to stroke center in a target, put a ring or hit a puppet.
Over the centuries, in the Italy of principalities, and the courts of the emerging national monarchies, since the fifteenth century, use these amusements to be represented with real dramatization in the streets, on the moments occasion of the celebration, to honor the principles and entertain the crowds. The oldest certificate editions that refers to the carousel oristanese is in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, in which the nobles and the city authorities, competed in this fun to offer a show to the public on the occasion of important religious and civil events.
The race to the ring in fact, documented in other Royal Cities of the Kingdom of Sardinia which Sassari, Cagliari and Iglesias, during the centuries of Spanish domination (XV-XVIII sec.) Celebrated events such as births of princes, royal weddings and coronations as well as festivals in honor of the patron saints and celebrations findings of holy bodies. Since the eighteenth century, following the fundamental role played by gremi in these cities, the civic authorities, while organizing and financing these moments of celebration, invites its confraternities craft to become the protagonists of the days of celebration. There are in fact numerous documented moments of fun in the city of Oristano, where the seven gremi citizens, horse, sneaking in and masked carousels, entertain the audience in the middle of the town square. 1722 is currently, the oldest attestation of the star, which replaces the old target ring, in the testimonies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, silver has been documented.
Over the centuries the gremi, which since 1864 had lost control of the prerogatives of art, crafts and prices of production, continued to perpetuate their religious traditions as well as the momentous civil parties. The carousel of Sartiglia, widely documented over the centuries, has not only maintained the continuity with the past, but thanks to the intervention of gremi, has been institutionalized in the days of the carnival. For this reason, the Sartiglia of Oristano, the race to the star that every year on the last Sunday and Tuesday of Carnival, organized respectively by gremio of the peasants of San Giovanni Battista and the gremio carpenters of St. Joseph, which takes place in the churchyard of cathedral town, unlike many other national and international equestrian events, not a historical re-enactment, but a true continuation and revival of an ancient ritual of chivalry that is handed down from the sixteenth century by Oristano.