Prestigious Rome horse show combines equestrian events with high society.
The 84th edition of the annual Piazza di Siena horse show-jumping competition takes place in Rome's Villa Borghese from 25-29 May.
The five-day programme features the cream of international showjumpers, with event highlights including the Rome Grand Prix and the mounted Carabinieri display, which has closed the horse show for more than 60 years.
In 2012 the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) gained the support of the Saudi Equestrian Fund which sponsors the Furisiyya Nations Cup taking place on 27 May. Some of the top showjumpers competing include France's Simon Delestre and Penelope Levroste, and young Irish champion Bertram Allen.
A novelty this year is free entry 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. Organisers have also appealed for a “return of the glamour” associated with Piazza di Siena in the past, encouraging women to wear high-fashion hats associated with racing days.
Three years ago the 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.
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 third 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 the event tel. 0636858420 or visit the informative Piazza di Siena website which is also in English.