Prestigious show combines equestrian events with high society
The 82nd edition of the annual Piazza di Siena horse show-jumping competition takes place in Villa Borghese from 22-25 May. This year the event has been dedicated to the memory of the recently-deceased D'Inzeo brothers, Piero and Raimondo, two celebrated Roman show jumping riders who garnered numerous accolades for Italy over the years in international competitions and Olympic Games.
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 the show jumping. Both officers in the Carabinieri, they always competed in uniform. They died within four months of each other, Raimondo, the younger, in November 2013 and Piero in February this year at the age of 90.
The 2014 event features the very best from the world of international showjumping, with 66 riders from 15 countries including eight of the top ten in the current world rankings. Britain is the current title holder in all three Olympic disciplines – jumping, dressage and eventing – and its three champion riders Scott Brash, Ben Maher and Peter Charles will participate at Piazza di Siena.
Among the other international champions competing include reigning Olympic individual champion Steve Guerdat from Switzerland, Canada's Eric Lamaze and Tiffany Foster, America’s Kent Farrington and Spain's Sergio Moya.
Last year the event underwent several changes, most 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. In addition the commercial aspect of the event was downsized, with organisers citing “environmental reasons”.
In 2012 the FEI entered into a four-year, €16m sponsorship package from the Saudi Equestrian Fund, and the Nations Cup is now referred to as the Furisiyya Nations Cup. It takes place on 23 May.
Part of the Fédération Équestre Internationale (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. Highlights over the four-day event include the Rome Grand Prix and the mounted Carabinieri display, which has closed the horse show for more than 60 years.
For full details including ticket prices tel. 0636858420 or visit the extremely informative Piazza di Siena website which is also in English. VIDEO