Prestigious show combines equestrian events with high society.
The 83rd edition of the annual Piazza di Siena horse show-jumping competition takes place in Villa Borghese from 21-24 May.
For the second consecutive year the event is being 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 uniform. They died within four months of each other, Raimondo in November 2013 aged 88, and Piero in February 2014 aged 90.
Over the four days there will be 11 events featuring the very best from the world of international showjumping. 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.
In 2012 the Fédération Équestre Internationale (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 22 May and features the top ten teams: Holland (last year's winner), Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
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.
Two years ago 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”.
For full details including ticket prices tel. 0636858420 or visit the informative Piazza di Siena website which is also in English.
Ph Corriere della Sera