Rome’s Piazza di Siena horse show

Rome horse show combines equestrian events with high society glamour.

The 85th edition of the annual Piazza di Siena horse show-jumping competition takes place in the heart of Rome’s Villa Borghese from 24-28 May.

This year, for the first time, the prestigious equestrian show is being held in collaboration with the Italian National Olympic committee (CONI), thanks to a recently-announced four-year partnership.

The five-day programme features the cream of international showjumpers, with event highlights including the Coppa dei Giovani - Flash (26 and 28 May), a competition reserved for up-and-coming Italian show-jumpers; the CSIYH international show for seven-year-old horses (27 May); and the mounted Carabinieri display (28 May), which has closed the horse show for more than six decades.

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For the second year in a row, entry is free to the Piazza di Siena grounds, including viewing areas of the horse-jumping events, while those who prefer the best views can purchase tickets and weekend passes for the Raffaello Stand and VIP seats. In recent years organisers have also encouraged women to wear high-fashion hats associated with racing days.

Four years ago the Piazza di Siena event underwent several changes, notably the removal of the stands – including the central one which seated 4,000 people – to allow spectators greater viewing access of the oval arena.

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Part of the FEI Nations Cup, the Roman tournament is among the eight most important show-jumping events in the world along with La Baule in France, San Gallo in Switzerland, Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Falsterbo in Sweden, Aquisgrana in Germany, Hickstead in Britain and Ireland’s capital Dublin.

For the fourth consecutive year the event is dedicated to the memory of the D’Inzeo brothers, Piero and Raimondo, two celebrated Roman show jumping riders who garnered numerous accolades for Italy over the years at the Olympics and in international competitions. The brothers were the first athletes to compete in eight successive Olympic Games, their greatest moment being the 1960 Rome Olympics when Raimondo won the gold and Piero the silver medal for show jumping.

Both officers in the Carabinieri, they always competed in police uniform. They died within four months of each other, Raimondo in November 2013 aged 88, and Piero in February 2014 aged 90.

For full details of Piazza di Sienna tel. 0636858420 or visit the informative website which is also available in English.