Page 1


Issue #2 - July 2017


Pierre E. Genecand


Photography by Amélie Bès

Page 13


Kevin Staut

Kevin Staut and Elky Van Het Indihot HDC (Photo Courtesy of CSIO Roma/M.Proli)

Page 29


International Jumping Riders Club

Scott Brash (UK) Photography Fabio Petroni/IJRC

Page 33


Sleek Amazon

White gold bangle, Roberto Coin

Page 17

There is something restless in young Brady Jandreau’s past. A crazy wild horse appears to him in his dreams and then gallops away, leaving him alone with his scars and his memories. Brady is an ex rodeo star who suffers a serious head injury, after a grave fall from a horse, and is thus forced to stay away from action, far from danger, far from himself. He must start living again, before he can begin dreaming again. Recently presented in Cannes, The Rider is a beautiful surprise. A film which, starting from the autobiographical story of this boy, who plays himself in the film, manages to draw a sincere universal parable, that of accepting one’s limits and painful redemption. The talented Chinese director Chloé Zhao, who has lived in America for many years, succeeds in her mission to let Brady’s autobiography and the Western genre travel along two separate storylines, which are destined inevitably to meet. When the boy watches films of his fall on YouTube, his smartphone gives us legendary images of the golden era, a Low Definition which invades the screen creating dialogue between close ups and the hand-held camera typical of American indie cinema.

Brady Jandreau in The Rider (Photo Courtesy of Protagonist Pictures)

To start dreaming again, Brady must accept the challenge of his (mainly internal) pain and garish scar, to get close to horses again and start training them again, in that long (and very beautiful) courtship which leads an animal to trust a human. Thus, the next ride out on the prairie assumes the connotations of a vibrant return to the genre. The Rider is a film made of little things, the necessary ones. Brady’s repressed pain is only released with his younger sister, who has social difficulties, and with his old rodeo partner who is now paralysed. So, Brady slowly becomes closer to his loved ones and the film follows his footsteps respectfully, often in silence, succeeding literally in curing his wounds with the opening to the Western, which also marks an emotional connection with the collective imagination of all those in the audience.



Tela Genova reproduces an hiGh qualiTy piece of arT accordinG To The TradiTional iTalian


The selecTion of maTerial and an accuraTe manufacTurinG Technique make of every jeans a very fine exemplar, unique and revoluTionary in The conTemporary markeT.

iTs hisTory has already become a myTh.



Photo Stefano Zardini

Cortina d’Ampezzo - Via Roma, 2 #ritzsaddler EQUESTRIAN ILLUSTRATED

Editor’s Letter 7

JULY 2017

A tribute We have chosen to borrow Ronald Duncan’s words to introduce the second issue of Equestrian Illustrated:

A Horse Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride, friendship without envy, or beauty without vanity? Here where grace is laced with muscle and strength by gentleness confined. He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity. There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent; there is nothing so quick, nothing more patient. England’s past has been borne on his back. All our history is in his industry. We are his heirs; He is our inheritance.

Ronald Duncan © the Ronald Duncan Estate

“Every year ‘The Horse’ is read at the climax of the Gala Night of the International Horse of the Year Show. It was written by Duncan in 1964, after Mike Ansell asked him to write the poem. Colonel Sir Mike Ansell (1905–1994) was blinded during the retreat from Dunkirk during the Second World War. After the war, Ansell committed himself to the interests of the horse in the United Kingdom. He was Director of the Royal International Horse of the Year Show (from 1949 until 1975) and his friend’s poem is still read today.” Ronald Duncan Literary Foundation





JULY 2017

25 Page






CATERINA VAGNOZZI Based in Rome, Caterina Vagnozzi has been a freelance journalist specializing in equestrian sports since the 1970s. She has been a member of the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists since 1987 and national delegate for Italy since 2010. She has always been tied to the equestrian world, originally as a horsewoman, then as a breeder. At the beginning of the 1990s she founded Equi-Equipe, a company providing editorial services connected to big equestrian events. Since the late 1970’s, she has been a constant contributor to the main Italian sport tabloids, Corriere dello Sport and Gazzetta dello Sport, and also to the broadsheet Il Messaggero.


GIUSEPPE BIANCHI MARINA KAMINSKY Originally from Siberia, she began her studies at the Art Institute of Tallinn (Estonia) where she lived, finishing them at the Moscow Academy of Art, where she began her artistic career. She has lived and worked in Milan since 1994. She has shown her work in numerous collective and personal exhibitions in Italy and abroad. She has also been selected for the 54th Venice Biennale at the Exhibition Palace of Turin.

Editorial Director MARCO POLI Editor in Chief GIULIANO DEIDDA Art Director FABRIZIO MAJERNA Editor Consultant PAOLA DE VINCENTIS Contributors Giuseppe Bianchi, Fabio Petroni, Tanya Doubleday-Rudkin (translations), Marina Kaminsky, Caterina Vagnozzi Special Thanks:

Lawyer in Milan, specialized in antidoping cases, he is the former legal counsel of IJRC and of the Young Riders Academy’s Board. He also used to run Forum, a programme on Class Horse TV.

Editorial Office Corso Colombo 7 20144 Milano Tel. +39 0287365694 Publishing House MILANO FASHION LIBRARY Via Alessandria, 8 20144 Milano Tel. +39 0258153208

Born in Corinaldo (AN) in 1964, he lives and works in Milan, Italy. After studying photography, he collaborated with some of the most renowned professionals in the field. His career has led him to specialize in portraiture and still-life, where he demonstrates an intuitive and rigorous style. He collaborates frequently with several important Italian brands. Fabio has always spent his life in the company of dogs and horses and is the official photographer of the IJRC and Riders Academy.

Advertising Via Alessandria, 8 20144 Milano Tel. +39 0258153208 Stampa ROTOPRESS INTERNATIONAL SRL Via Brecce - 60025 Loreto ( AN ) Tel. 071 9747511 Via E. Mattei, 106 - 40138 Bologna Tel. 051 4592111

Chairman DIEGO VALISI Assistant Publisher PRASANNA CONTI


All rights reserved©/The material on this magazine may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Fashion Illustrated.


fine italian trousers



JULY 2017





By Giuliano Deidda








SHOW PIAZZA DI SIENA By Caterina Vagnozzi





By Caterina Vagnozzi






Q&A PARLANTI ROMA By Daniela Cursi







By Giuliano Deidda



By Giuliano Deidda


Artwork by Marins Kaminski







Profile 13

JULY 2017





fter a degree in business, Pierre Genecand, started his hugely successful career in international insurance and pension fund brokerage. Thanks to his skills and energy, he rapidly progressed professionally and eventually took over as Owner and Chairman of the Board of Directors of GESREP SA in 1982. With Genecand’s extensive knowledge and vision, the firm swiftly became one of the most successful insurance companies in Switzerland. From 1995 to 2003, Pierre Genecand was the Vice-President of SIBA, the Swiss Association of Insurance Brokers. GESREP was sold to giant firm Aon in 2005 and Pierre Genecand turned his hand to new challenges. His knowledge of business management, coupled with his 40 years of experience in national show - jumping competitions, led Pierre naturally to become the President of CHI Geneva in 1989. As the new President, Pierre Genecand’s first task was to make a careful analysis of the show’s budget and its operational aspects, in order to unveil potential development opportunities. Genecand came to the conclusion that major changes were required if the show was to become a highlight of the indoor season. The decision was made to relocate the show from the too-small ice-hockey ring, to the gigantic Exhibition Hall of Palexpo, near the airport, allowing the show to extend its activities and improve the facilities, in order to achieve greater international recognition. Pierre Genecand established a well-tried business model which is still largely in place. The new facilities and organisation suited the equestrian competition so well that Genecand rapidly decided to apply for the organisation of the 1996 FEI World Cup Final. The allocation of the final was unanimously voted by the World Cup Committee. The 1996 Final was a success and marked the beginning of the show’s evolution towards greater worldwide recognition. The changes introduced by the new presidency were welcomed by all participants and the event grew rapidly and was eventually awarded the title of World’s Best Show-Jumping Event. In 2004, after fifteen years at the head of CHI Geneva, knowing that the show was now firmly established, Genecand handed the presidency over to his second-incommand, Mrs Sophie Mottu-Morel, who is still at the head of the organising committee today. During his time as show President, Pierre Genecand also made the time to be involved in various aspects of equestrian sports. From 1991 to 2003, Pierre Genecand was a member of the World Cup Committee. Together with Max Ammann and all of the World Cup organisers, they shaped the World Cup Circuit as we know it today. To strengthen the position of CHI Geneva in the Swiss sporting panorama, Pierre Genecand became a Board Member of Swiss Top Sports, the association of the biggest sports events in Switzerland. From 1999 to 2003, Pierre acquired a bigger and better overview of major sporting event organisation and promotion, which helped him achieve greater visibility and recognition for CHI Geneva in the media, as well as finding and maintaining long-term sponsors. From 1992 to 2003, Pierre Genecand has been a fixed member of the Alliance of Jumping Organisers (AJO). Together with other organisers, Genecand helped structure the discipline of Show-Jumping and reinforce its position in the Equestrian Sports calendar. Pierre Genecand was a member of the organising committee of the 1998 FEI World Equestrian Games in Rome. Genecand assumed various roles during the Games, notably all prize-giving protocols. This experience completed his knowledge of major equestrian event organisation. The pinnacle came in 2000, when Pierre was involved in the TV coordination of Equestrian Sports at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. He had the unique opportunity of working for the Jury across all disciplines and discovered yet another aspect of sporting events of the highest calibre. Far from being ready from retiring from business, Pierre spent fifteen years as a board member of different banks. He decided to put his experience to good use and also accepted a seat on the Board of the Gstaad Palace 5* hotel in Switzerland, a position he still holds today. Pierre Genecand developed a passion for polo, which led him to become president of the Gstaad Polo Club and the Hublot Polo Gold Cup in 2006. The event can count on the support of prestigious sponsors such as Hublot, Gstaad Palace, Perrier-Jouët, Banque Eric Sturdza SA, Ferrari, Fly7 and Nespresso, to name but a few. Pierre currently alternates between homes in Switzerland and Argentina where he breeds horses.




JULY 2017



Profile 15

JULY 2017



What is your first memory related to a horse? I started to ride at 9 years old with a small pony and all my life I was a show jumper for 40 years and then, for 16 years now, I have been a polo player, first of all in Europe and then in Argentina where I breed my horses. Why have you chosen to dedicate most of your life to the world of horses? For me the horse world has been a passion since I was a child, I started with jumping competitions and, after 30 or 40 years, I went to Argentina for a trip and I started with polo and now, for the last 16 years, I have been a polo player. I play tournaments no longer in Europe now but in Argentina, small tournaments, and I breed my horses at home What do you think about the future for both disciplines: equestrian and polo? The future is very different for jumping and polo. For jumping you have a lot of circuits now with global champions, with Grand Slam like with Rolex. You have a lot of 5 star tournaments all around the world. For me, now it’s too many because the public no longer understand how it works; you have to keep the Nations Cup, you have to keep the World Championship, the European Championship and one Grand Slam or two but no more, because for the public it is impossible to follow. We have every year better riders, better horses and the level improves a lot. For polo, it’s pretty much the same; you have a lot of tournaments in Europe, in Spain, in Italy in France and in Switzerland, but the level is very low. However, in Argentina you have the highest level and that is a problem because you have one big nation in polo in the lead, it’s an Argentine player, and you have all the rest of the world, where polo players are a lesser level and a local level. If you dream with polo it’s why all the teams rent a very good player from Argentina to help them, it means the future of polo is assured for a long time.




JULY 2017



Casual classics are enriched by luxurious accessories and details.

Canvas hat with cotton lining, Gucci.

Printed silk tie, Hermès.

Wind Stretch microfibre jacket with cotton lining, made especially for the Piazza di Siena event, Loro Piana.

Slim-fit cotton polo shirt, Polo Ralph Lauren.

Brunello Cucinelli, Spring Summer 2017.

Knitted cotton V-neck, Tommy Hilfiger. Classic Fusion Titanium King Gold self-winding watch, Hublot.

Twill bags with leather details, Ghurka.

Pleated cotton trousers, Entre Amis. Plaited leather belt, Paul Smith.

Handmade leather polo boots, Parlanti Roma.


Wishlist 17

JULY 2017



Feminine leisure clothing and accessories for the contemporary lady.

Cotton twill hat, Tommy Hilfiger.

Stretch cotton polo shirt, US Polo Assn.

Printed cashmere vest, Lanificio Colombo.

Embroidered denim flares, Stella McCartney.

Conquest Classic steel and pink gold watch, Longines.

Hermès. Silver charms, Giovanni Raspini.

Polished calfskin riding boots, Ralph Lauren.

White gold bangle with black and white diamonds and onyx, Roberto Coin.

Hand woven nappa gloves, Bottega Veneta.

Leather top handle bag with top stitching, Maison Margiela.




JULY 2017



All the essentials both for the horse and the rider.

Cromo Polo helmet with leather details, Kep Italia.

Competition jacket in water repellent bi-elastic fabric with clip buttons and zipper, Fixdesign.


Leather whips, Makebe. Metal and acetate sunglasses with polarised gradient lenses, Gidgee Eyes.

Cotton saddle cloth, Animo

Natural bridle leather and nickel-plated metal snaffle, Hermès .

Carbon fibre and leather tendon boots, Pariani. Light elastic polyamid breeches, Euro-Star.

Titanium bit, Lorenzini.

Calfskin-lined leather saddle, developed by Nick Skelton, Equiline.




AD 2017



Focus 21

JULY 2017




n February 1993 the hotelier Walter Felix met with the director of Gstaad Palace M. R. Schaerer. He wanted to organise polo tournaments and asked him if this kind of event would be interesting for Gstaad. Within days they decided to look for an appropriate place for the tournament and to create an organizing committee. The search of an adequate field was a more difficult task. Beno Lüthi, president of the Airport Association, invited the committee members to look for a field by plane. After thorough examination of Saanenland from the sky, they came to the conclusion that only Gstaad Saanenland airport disposed of a grass area large enough to host a polo competiton. An agreement was quickly reached between the airport and the committee and the organization of the event began. During the first two years, a complete tournament could not be held, as the quality of the field could not cope with so many matches. In its first year, the event saw only two opposing teams. The following year, there were two men’s teams and two women’s teams. Gradually, and after a lot of care and attention, the quality of the ground improved and the event was able to host a complete tournament. A players’ parade through the streets of Gstaad was also created, to bring the sport into the heart of the city and promote the event. Pierre E. Genecand had been playing in Gstaad for five years with his team El Mirasol, before he was asked by outgoing President Mrs Schaerer to take over as president. After a while, thanks to a passion for the sport and excellent knowledge of both the sport and the region, Pierre Genecand took the reins of the Polo Club Gstaad in 2006. It was urgently necessary to raise the level of the tournament, to ensure high quality participation. Indeed, playing in Gstaad can be challenging for professional polo players as the field is a bit narrower than is usually the case. Pierre Genecand’s first decisions were the redesign of the official village and the involvement of local shop owners. He also decided to organize private functions outside the matches. Over the years, Pierre Genecand has had to manage a couple of difficult situations: “I remember once when all of the banners were blown away by a helicopter flying stationary above the grounds, taking pictures! The weather can also be challenging. One year we had a snow storm and a hail storm! We had to finish the game on the Friday!” In 2015, the Hublot Polo Gold Cup celebrated its 20th anniversary and the theme of the event was Switzerland. “I believe we should be proud of our Swiss values and share them with visitors coming for the occasion, especially the Argentinian players. Happily, our sponsors had also decided to follow the theme! The future is only guaranteed if the level of the teams remains very high. I will do my best to keep bringing the best players to Gstaad.”

Hublot Polo Gold Club Gstaad 2016 © Amélie Bès

A man who likes challenges and is always on the lookout for new ideas, Pierre E. Genecand had to raise the bar once again in 2016, which he did with the help of JeanClaude Biver and Hublot. Together they visited the Tang Polo Club in Beijing and invited the owner, Mr Shilai Liu to play in Gstaad. The Chinese Hublot Team was created and managed to win the 2016 edition of the tournament surrounded by a large cohort of Chinese media who attended the event.




JULY 2017


Hublot Polo Gold Club Gstaad 2016 © Amélie Bès

Facts and figures Hublot Polo Gold Cup 2016

For the first time in the history of the sport a Chinese team came to play in Gstaad. The patron was M. Shilai Liu, the owner of the Tang Polo Club in Beijing.


VIP lunches served in the VIP marquee


spectators on site



20th anniversary of the tournament – special show

polo ponies stabled in Gstaad for the event


Creation of the Polo Club Gstaad

Extensive media coverage and attendance



First tournament organised in Gstaad

people each year attend the traditional Gala always held on Saturday night


Pierre E. Genecand becomes President of the Polo Club Gstaad

A 10-member Organising Committee



Hublot joins as Title Sponsor. The Hublot Polo Gold Cup is born.

volunteers over 4 days of competitions





Parlanti Roma

Focus 25

JULY 2017





ttention remains focused on top-level sport and its legendary champions, but also on the extraordinary setting welcoming them and, more broadly, the location of Villa Borghese itself.

The effect of these changes, which intend to highlight the pairing of Rome and Piazza di Siena, is growing and developing thanks to a revitalization of the area. It is a walk that takes in the beautiful architectural buildings in the Villa’s grounds, all once again under the spotlight and ascribed their just importance. From the Temple of Diana, to the Casina Raffaello, to the Casina dell’Orologio, all are the tessera of a mosaic steeped in history, culture and art, a masterpiece of extraordinary interaction between harmony and balance, which seeks to (and must) remain unaltered, but at the same time updated. The vision, based on a perception of the setting seen from above, seeks the rebirth of an iconic place. Its elegance lies in the symmetry of the areas to be promoted and respected, returning central importance to the exclusiveness of this location and to the only true protagonist of this event, the horse; majestic, powerful and noble. This is a high quality ambitious project, capable of reaching the beating heart of Rome and the international panorama. All this with one specific goal; the rapid replacement of the sand in the oval arena with a natural lawn using the grass from the Olympic Stadium that will benefit from an independent irrigation system. It will be a maintenance process lasting many years, not only concerning Piazza di Siena, but the entire area of Villa Borghese.

time with “il cuore oltre”; the central importance of sport, the attraction of a discipline in which horses and riders reinstate the charm and vital importance of Villa Borghese that will be further enhanced for Roman citizens. Many of the most beautiful chapters in the history of Italian equestrianism have been written in Piazza di Siena, where the CSIO and its eagerly awaited Nations Cup, were first hosted in 1926 and where many other pages of great sporting significance will certainly be added in the years to come.

It is an invitation to practice sport for the largest possible number of people, a mission on which CONI and FISE have been working on together for some




JULY 2017


ULIANO VEZZANI BY EQUI EQUIPE Uliano Vezzani © Fabio Petroni


liano Vezzani 59 years old, is considered to be one of the best showjumping course designers in the world. Until the age of 20 he was just an ordinary boy from the lower Emilia region in Italy, but he already had dreams and ambition, which brought him to horse riding, one of the most enjoyable activities and which would perhaps be a goal for future success as an adult. His father was a businessman, the owner of a company producing moulded plastics, but Uliano had already realized that he would not find his professional future in the company, but rather on the jumping arena, amidst horses, poles and fences. The turning point came in Jesi. There was to be a horse riding competition in which Uliano was competing. A few hours before the start of the competition, a violent hurricane swept down and the course designer decided to suspend the competition. The competition steward, who had no intention of cancelling the event, was not of the same opinion. So, he asked if anyone felt that they could somehow prepare the course and a young man stepped forward. It was Uliano Vezzani. He built the course and won the competition. The challenge was made and Vezzani entered the horse riding world and studied to become a show jumping course designer. That young man had potential, skills and charisma, it wasn’t long before he made a name for himself in Italy, then in Europe and the rest of the world. To the extent that, today, alongside two colleagues - the Spaniard Santiago Vanela and the Belgian Luc Musette - Vezzani is a candidate as course designer for the 2020 Japan Olympic games. Just like winning a gold medal.

Nick Skelton and Uliano Vezzani

“It is a great honour” he says, “to be a part of this trio, but nonetheless the name will only be chosen in two years’ time so it’s better not to get distracted, I would be making a grave mistake if I thought only about that prestigious appointment. There is a lot of work to do before Japan.” In 2016 he designed 9 LGCT competition courses and naturally the Doha final. 2017 is even more ambitious and full of commitments.


Q&A 27

JULY 2017


You have been called a master, an artist, the best in the world; competition organizers fight over your professional services. To have Vezzani is a guarantee of success. But today, at the top of your game, who is Vezzani really? A man who maintains the traditions of his native Emilia, who does a job he is crazy about and wouldn’t change for any other, who tries to stay as humble in public and professional life as he is in his private life and who is constantly studying. Studying? Of course. Listen, I have designed competition courses in all of the most important locations in the world, I know the locations by heart, but when I have to build a course it is as though it were the first time. I forget the past. It would be terrible if it weren’t so, I would risk taking many things for granted and I would be heading for mistakes. So, I always start from scratch and up to now it has worked. I always study all competition pictures intently (not only those where my services have been called upon) in order to learn something new, some new details and then I let my imagination go wild to give something fresh to a discipline which evolves year after year. Is Vezzani more for grass courses or synthetic ones? The grass surface is visibly more attractive for the crowd, however in this sport the weather conditions play an important role, and a synthetic footing gives a guarantee of grip that grass cannot. Therefore, it is a major element of danger for horses, many of which are active for 12 months of the year. Which elements do you take into consideration when you are designing a course? Above all the horse. I have the maximum respect for the main protagonist in our competitions. After the class I want the horse to be well and not suffering or subject to stress, after an effort verging on the impossible. In Rio for example, the courses seemed too hard to me, murderous; the horses seemed afraid. That is not my style. As well as the horse, I consider the safety of the rider, of course, and the resulting show enjoyed by the public. I like to create a thrill, but this can be done with challenging obstacles only when the equestrianism elite is competing. The visual impact is extremely important and necessitates a richness of materials and colours.

Uliano Vezzani © Fabio Petroni

Is the water jump the bogey man of every competition course? Our own Emanuele Gaudiano compromised his attempt in Rio right at the water jump. No, this is not true. However, it is true that we must build water jumps which are highly visible for the horses, so they can judge the breadth of the water they need to cover. Most of the mistakes are caused by the lack of a precise vision, many jump it like a normal jump, measuring the landing as though the water were not there. That is what happened in Rio. Does Vezzani decide point blank or does he like debate? I always debate. I never design a course without first listening to the needs of riders and also to their criticisms. Then, obviously the last word is mine, but certainly those who know me know that I would never put the horse or rider in danger just to show off. I am proud of the relationship I have with the riders. Once, in Bordeaux after a Grand Prix, Christian Ahlmann came up to me and asked me why in my opinion he and his horse had made a mistake at a particular jump. You see, for me this is proof of the regard for work carried out with professionalism, but above all with modesty and mutual respect. Athletes and show jumping course designer.

Uliano Vezzani and Philippe Guerdat © Fabio Petroni

You have the same amount of energy as a young man starting out in work. Work he enjoys. I love horses, this animal always thrills me. I never tire of watching a competition, from the first entrance into the arena, to the last. I spent a lot of my own money learning. I was young and I had many teachers; for me, the greatest among them was Marcello Mastronardi. In the beginning, I followed his lessons open-mouthed and when, a few years later, he asked me to join his staff for Piazza di Siena, I could not believe it was true. I didn’t sleep for three nights thinking about the opportunity I had been given, but also about the serious commitment to demonstrate that I deserved the trust Marcello had placed in me. I took tens and tens of courses in Europe trying to steal the secrets of the best show jumping course designers with my eyes. I went and lifted the jumps to feel the weight, the shape, the height and to try and understand what the horse felt when it was faced with these tall and imposing jumps. I photographed everything in black and white to understand the play of shadows and then I studied. Today, I perhaps no longer build the jumps myself, but the desire is still that of the young man from Emilia with a great passion and an intense love of horses. Erminio Marcucci

Lorenzo Vezzani and Marcus Ehning



20e anniversaire DU 17 AU 27 AOÛT 2017




Story 29

JULY 2017


Portrait of Kevin Staut (Photo Courtesy of Fabio Petroni/IJRC)






JULY 2017

RIDERS Kevin Staut in Rome (Photo Courtesy of Fabio Petroni)


rather unexpected feat brought this riders to stand on the highest step of the individual podium at the 2009 European Championships in Windsor. Twenty-nine years old at the time, Kevin Staut was certainly not one of the favourites on the eve of the most highly anticipated event on the continental calendar, and together with Kraque Boom, a family-owned horse, he had begun the competition for the assignment of the title with a truly forgettable “warm up”. Was this a oneoff performance? At the time the question may easily have been obvious, the passing of time however confirmed quite the opposite. For the French rider, instead of being a point of arrival as it usually is for everyone, that precious medal was actually a lucky starting point. Far from playing the role of a meteorite, from that moment onwards, Staut became a fixed reference point for the French team. The European Championship was the springboard for a career that for eight years has consistently seen him placed at the top of the world rankings. In 2010 he enjoyed a lengthy stay at the top of the FEI ranking list. A team gold medal winner at the Rio Olympic Games, a silver medal winner with the French team at the 2010 and 2014 World Equestrian Games, he was a constant presence among the top seven in the ranking for the final of the Longines FEI World Cup from 2010 to 2013 (3rd with Silvana HDC). As always blood will out. His mother was a great horsewoman in the world of show jumping and he inherited his great passion from his father who owned beautiful stables in Normandy. It was there that Kevin started to ride at the age of ten. It was there that he acquired his training as a rider and horseman. It was there that in 2002 he set up his first headquarters with the Ecurie Kevin Staut and where he stayed until 2008 before moving close to Nantes and from there to Belgium to the charming Ecurie Ecaussinnes (2010). “It is very difficult to acquire good technique,” he tells those who ask what his riding philosophy is. “You need to always work a great deal and be very hard on yourself. The aim is to do difficult things easily, something that calls for great awareness. To be a great rider you need great technique as well as strong relationships with horses.” The correct relationship with a sports horse is built up one day at a time. “Horses,” the French champion explains, “need contact in order to create that union and understanding with a rider that forms the basis of any performance, from the most simple to the most complex. They must have great faith in the rider. I try to spend as much time as possible at the stables for this very reason.” Our sport teaches us that we must always prefer humility to arrogance;

that one day you win and another you lose and that to grow up we need to experience success the right way and not lose heart at difficult times.” A passion for horses is at the heart of everything and, according to Staut, should be promoted as much as possible and shared resolutely even by the sponsors, with whom common goals and strategies are worked out. “The relationship with owners and sponsors in a costly sport such as ours is extremely important. It is inconceivable to think of building up something alone.” The French rider, who for many years had by his side his girlfriend Penelope Leprevost, another important member of ‘Les Bleus’ team, is one of those who best represents elegance both in the saddle and on foot. He even put himself to the test by working as a model on fashion shoots, also ‘hired’ also by Gucci, moving with the same ease with which he jumps 1.60 metre obstacles. He has done it more than once. He is far from being just an amateur model. “It has never been as easy as it was today to do such a difficult shoot,” was the comment made by a photographer who, with a charming Parisian boutique hotel and classic cars as a backdrop, shot a story with him for one of the most prestigious equestrian lifestyle magazines in the world. However, speaking specifically about the subject of fashion, Kevin assure us that he likes things that are “simple and classic; nothing is better than feeling free to wear what you want. In no way do I wear clothes I have been paid to wear. I have done so in the past, but I didn’t enjoy it. We travel a lot and often go from hot to cold climates. Using good materials is important and I like to combine the opportunities provided by technical fabrics with the classical rules of elegance. I often design my own jackets, which are then made to measure by my tailor in Brussels.” He dresses in an elegant, practical and chic manner. Reaching the heights of the world’s show jumping elite has not gone to his head. “Success,” he commented, “came early, but I have always continued to work with humility and dedication. There are many other great riders and horses in the arena and one should never think one has made it. Every victory is different, as is every disappointment. The desire to keep going, as far as I am concerned, is always the same; it’s an incredible thrill. I am a hard worker and as far as effort is concerned, I have never shied away from it. I love horses and do this job with greatest of pleasure. I consider myself very lucky to have been able to follow this path and I am grateful to life for what I have received. I will continue to live my dream.”


Story 31

JULY 2017


Kevin Staut and Elky Van Het Indihot HDC (Photo Courtesy of CSIO Roma/M.Proli)



Portfolio 33

JULY 2017




Cayetano Martinez de Irujo and Eleonora Ottaviani


n April 1977, a group of 25 international riders, including David Broome, Raimondo D’Inzeo, Paul Schockemöhle and Nelson Pessoa were asked to create an establishment in the form of a Club that could allow riders to form a group. On June 24th 1977, the IJRC was launched in Vienna. In June 1999, the general meeting of the Riders’ Club approved the new articles of association in Aachen. The meeting elected a new president, Cayetano Martinez de Irujo. In August 2013, the IJRC appointed Christina Liebherr to take over as President, making her the first woman to become President of the Club. Today, the IJRC is a powerful association, recognized by IOC and by FEI, as the only association representing the Equestrian Athletes. The NARG (North American Riders Group) is part of the IJRC. Currently, the International Jumping Riders Club, is very much involved in the ranking list restructuring and in the criterion of competitions’ evaluation. Indeed, the thing that most worries a lot of riders and the FEI, is to support the Nations Cups and to ensure equal treatment for athletes regarding the possibility of participating in events that give them ranking points. The ranking list’s calculations will no longer consider only the amount of prize money, but it will be linked to the ECS (Event Classification System), to various assessments like the technical qualities (ground, efficiency of the organization, stables, attitude towards athletes, participation in according with meritocracy and not with pay card) as well as to marketing criteria, public attendance, media and, last but not least, to the quality and ranking number of all riders at the competition.



JULY 2017


Steve Guerdat (Switzerland)

Pénélope Leprevost (France)


Portfolio 35

JULY 2017


Christian Ahlmann (Germany)

Roger Yves Bost (France)

Scott Brash (UK)

Ludger Beerbaum (Germany)




JULY 2017


Rolf Goran Bengtsson (Sweden)

Jeroen Dubbeldam (Netherlands)

Meredith Beerbaum (Germany)

Michael Whitaker (UK)


Portfolio 37

JULY 2017


Eric Lamaze (Canada)

Maikel Van Der Vleuten (Netherlands)

Pius Schwizer (Switzerland)




JULY 2017


BESPOKE CORPORATE GIFTS Straw hat with cotton and wool ribbon

Made to measure cotton jersey polo shirt

Silk tie with jacquard logo, made for the Polo Club Gstaad

Printed merino wool stole, made for the CHI de Genève Leather bracelets

Cashmere and lurex stole and suede cosmetic bag


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Q&A 39

JULY 2017




BY DANIELA CURSI or 30 years a leader in the sector: behind the brand a neverrevealed secret. Calfskin (only European), but also shark, crocodile, ray, eel, ostrich, lizard, bison and various snakes. These are Daniele Parlanti’s raw materials, protected by a oneof-a-kind formula.

It takes around six months to prepare a riding boot for sale. Although the label Parlanti can vaunt thirty years of experience, the process remains the same as ever, from design to production of the prototype, from testing to modifications. That which remains unaltered - and is unalterable- is the passion for raw materials and the perfectionist mentality of those who take care of each phase of production. An approach which begins with a dialogue with the rider and materializes in an unstoppable creativity. We are talking about Daniele Parlanti. “I have spent 20 years without pause on the sidelines of competition arenas and I have participated emotionally in the sporting life of many horsemen and women. I have asked questions, I have listened and I have always looked for the solutions capable of making the difference, when compared to what the market could offer. Even to what I myself could offer. I have kept my eye fixed on the detail which could guarantee a boot as slim-fitting and as soft as a sock, as though it were an integral part of the rider.” When did this passion start? It is not possible to date it. I was just a small boy, when I spent afternoons after school in the factory with my father who, at the time, produced couture and fashion shoes. I accompanied him to tanning factories in Tuscany, in Santa Croce on the Arno river. I was a nightmare for the tanners, because I loved the smell of the leathers and I touched everything. And today I am their nightmare as an adult and businessman. I open all the new batches, I check them, I study them. Nothing escapes me. Then 30 years ago the Parlanti label was founded… It is my mother Aurelia’s surname. And it is the inheritance from my father, who has always made his work constant research into the best leathers. Because leather is not all the same. Talking of leathers. Have you used many different types? Calfskin first and foremost, but also shark, crocodile, ray, eel, ostrich, lizard, bison and various snakes. More than a job, a lifelong passion… We have a specific duty to give the maximum support to our athletes, keeping up with the times or foreseeing the future. As in tennis, which moved on from wooden racquets to those in carbon, so equitation also expresses its needs. Hence the constant research. How is the change perceived? Always with a sort of self-defence. Athletes are conservative and set in their ways, little inclined to continuous changes. Or if you prefer, they are initially suspicious. I remember when, in 1991, we launched the first style with a zip: Raimondo D’Inzeo commented on it with “what a horror!” Today, it would be unthinkable to wear a full leather boot, even though, I admit, some do still ask for it. Have you ever ridden a horse? Only hacking. Because of this, I have established a relationship of real dialogue with the riders: to translate a need into a project, offering a practical solution. I have worked, following the words of the (then) 30-year-old Roberto Arioldi and the 25-year-olds Gianni Govoni and Jerry Smit. I have seen them grow up and witnessed their achievements. Just as with Piergiorgio Bucci, Lorenzo De Luca and Alberto Zorzi, Emanuele Gaudiano and many others. Twenty years in the competition arena. Thirty years for equitation. How has Daniele changed compared to his beginnings? I haven’t. The mentality is still the same. The dedication has remained unchanged. I haven’t attended competitions for a long time, but I send a team of exceptional collaborators, who I trust implicitly. Meanwhile, I dedicate my time to my designs and my projects. Let’s talk about your one-of-a-kind formula. I perfected it fifteen years ago. Starting with the choice of raw materials – because it is not true that a calfskin is always the same, it depends on the climate conditions the animal has lived in and its nutrition – I chose the highest quality both for the outside and for the lining and I worked with the chemists at the tanning factories, to ensure softness and strength. When you produce a riding boot, you have to take into consideration the context in which it will be used, sweat from the horse, sand, rain and so on. For this reason, I have studied a production method, which for over 15 years has ensured long lasting comfort. Our sport has changed in appearance and we must be ready to stand alongside. You only have to think that once there were fifteen competitions a year and now there are five a week. A rider who competes on five or six horses every weekend must wear comfortable and practical boots. The boots must not be a weight or represent a problem, on the contrary they must ease our athletes’ task.

You said that not all leathers are the same, but they depend on the calf’s quality of life. Can you give an example to clearly illustrate this? A calf which comes from Pakistan, or Bangladesh, or North Africa, lives in dry conditions where there is a shortage of water, it does not graze much and is exposed to flies, which leave holes in the skin, these translate into imperfections, which must be covered up with chemicals and special workings. This does not happen in Belgium, Holland or France, where the grazing is plentiful as is water. Of course, the latter cost more, but the quality is high.

C 26 M 100 Y 100 K 16

You design all your styles. Do you start from the raw material or the style? I start with the style, if the raw material is always the same. Otherwise, it is actually the new material which inspires the new style, as was the case for the technical boot, KK Boots, which replaced the classic sole in leather and rubber with a completely rubber sole. Describe the phases which go from the design to the sale. Once the design is ready with many memos, I deliver it to the pattern maker, to work on the style and then on the prototype. Then, if the first version convinces me, this is followed by three or four months of tests. I consign the new boots to a trusted horse rider, who tries them out. Then I personally go to check how the boots react to the job and to gather the rider’s precious testimony. Once everything is put together and the suitable modifications have been made, they become new styles for sale. Being the first exposes you to the risk of imitations. One of my trusted collaborators found a pair of my boots in India! He was visiting leather factories for his own reasons when, all at once, he recognised, in a corner, a Parlanti boot from the standard line. The Indian artisan confided in him that he had received a commission to make one the same, but he admitted that he hadn’t been able to reproduce certain workings and above all, the leather! He doesn’t have the secret formula! Around the Parlanti label gravitate the forces of tradition, energy in research and the fascination of mistery. A Made in Italy with a secret one-of-a-kind formula.




JULY 2017



Family: Top Fermentation Category: American Ale Style: American Pale Ale (APA) Origin: United States


merican Pale Ales, commonly known as APA, are an American reedition of the English Pale Ales using local ingredients. The hops, originally from Europe, transplanted in America and then crossed with new selections, greatly influenced first the world of American brewing, then the rest of the world. APA beers marked a historic break with tradition with their low alcohol content, their new fragrances, their new flavors and their discreet bitterness. They started a revolution that is still ongoing and it has led to the birth of many new styles of beer such as American IPA, Double IPA, Imperial IPA and numerous re-interpretations that are emerging throughout the world.

PRUDUCTION Top-fermentation is used and the main ingredients are pale malt produced in America, some malt for sweetness, sometimes roasted, and above all hops, in particular those exuding fragrances of citrus. The hops are added mainly in latehopping (in the final stages of mashing the wort) and often also in dry-hopping (during the maturation stage of the beer), precisely to enhance the aromatic character of this type.

CHARACTERISTICS The color can vary enormously, from pale hazy-amber to a deep amber, depending on the malts used, while the foam is white, creamy and persistent. The fragrances of the American hops dominate the malts with citrus, resinous and herbaceous notes. The body is light and the carbonation moderately high, and if the hopping is excessive, an unwelcome astringency may be perceived. The sweet, roasted or toasted flavors of the malts are overpowered by the bitterness while at the same time balancing them. The citrus and resinous notes of the hops reemerge in the long aftertaste. Alcohol content: 4.5-6.2% abv Pairing: these are thirst-quenching beers that can be drunk at all times of the day and perfect as aperitif, thanks to their low alcohol content and refreshing effect.




Data sheet

JULY 2017


MICHOL DEL SIGNORE Nationality: Italian | Date of Birth: 11/12/1990



n both the 2006-2007 and in 2008 sporting seasons she was chosen to be part of the Nazionale Italiana Juniores.

In 2013, she was the stand-out U25 horsewoman for the Italian national team and was chosen several times by the Italian team manager to take part in international senior competitions (CSI2* Geesteren, CSIO3* San Marino). From 2009 to today, the horsewoman has been dedicated to bringing on and giving value to young horses, finally making it to the participation in the World Championships (Lanaken 2011), participating in the World Cup Grand Prix (Celje 2013) and to victory in the international category in CSIO Senior (CSIO San Marino 2013). In 2013, there were 12 placings out of 16 in Grand Prix H. 145/150 in national and international competitions with four wins, a second place, four third places and the remainder among the first 8 rankings. In 2014, there were 9 out of a possible 13 placings in the national and international H. 145/150. During 2014, she renewed her participation and victories in CSI2*, 3* (Stephex Master, CSI Lamprechtshausen, CSI Horses Riviera Resort) and Longines Global Champions Tour (CSI2* e YH Valkenswaard). Resident during the summer months at the AD Sporthorses di Doda Miranda and Athina Onassis stables, she collaborated with Jos Kumps, long-time trainer to the Pessoa family. 2015 was a great year for growth in the athlete’s commercial activity, with the sale of two of the most important horses from the stables to Olympic riders. 2016 was dedicated to the acquisition of new horses to bring on, destined both for a sporting career and for commercial value. From January to July 2016 under the guidance of Henk Nooren.






JULY 2017


ROME • Hotels •


• Restaurants • Aroma

A jewel-like dining room in Palazzo

Manfredi. Aroma, a restaurant looking onto the Colosseum, is decorated with luxurious walls stippled with diamonds, contemporary furnishings and terrace with a veranda looking onto the Roman marvels of the Domus Aurea and the Fori imperiali. The restaurant, headed by chef Giuseppe di Iorio, offers a seasonal menu capturing the essence and quality of

Grand Hotel Ritz Escaping everyday life to enjoy a few hours of pampering at the Grand

regional cuisine alongside a series of gluten-

Hotel Ritz is like living in a dream. The hotel guests are indeed granted the exclusive use of a

free proposals to completely satisfy the clientele.

great wellness center, which includes whirlpool, swimming-pool and water blades for cervical

The Ristorante Aroma was awarded the 5 star

massage, emotional shower, sauna, Turkish bath and ice waterfall. Located in the heart of the

Diamond Award by the American Academy of

Parioli area, the Grand Hotel Ritz offers a fine balance of fifty years of history and contemporary

Hospitality Sciences, for its excellent taste and for

high-class design, along with the highest customer care, on top of the great comfort of the rooms.

its exclusive surroundings in the heart of Rome.

The property counts 101 rooms, from classic to superior, from deluxe to junior suites, up to a luxury floor of gorgeous presidential suites. The ideal place to share an intimate atmosphere of

Via Labicana, 125 +39 0697615109 •

escape from the world, the Grand Hotel Ritz offers, for those who wish, the culinary wonders of the fantastic Le Roof, a rooftop restaurant which combines a wonderful view with the recipes of chef Gaetano Costa. Via D. Chelini, 41 +39 06 80240.752

Hotel Regent

The Hotel Regent counts

201 rooms including singles, twins and triples. A congress centre is also available, with daylight meeting rooms. Thanks to the recent re-styling of several floors, the rooms have been renovated with a natural color parquet and all bathrooms have been totally refurbished. Its strategic location, in the heart of the Parioli area, only

Il Convivio Troiani

one metro stop from Piazza del Popolo, is very

important dates celebrating a great family partnership in the history of Italian gastronomy.

convenient to easily reach many of Rome’s

In 1988, Massimo Angelo and Giuseppe Troiani decide to move from the Marche region to

beautiful attractions. All the rooms are tastefully

Rome, going on to open in 1990 their first Il Convivio at number 44 Via dell’Orso, behind

furnished and equipped with every comfort. The

Piazza Navona. In 1993, the arrival of the first Michelin star and five years later a change of

hotel’s neighbourhood includes many of the best

address to Vicolo dei Soldati 31, in a larger space where Il Convivio Troiani was reborn. The

attractions in Rome, such as the Auditorium

restaurant offers three rooms in an historic palazzo, topped with a tower. The cuisine, in

Parco della Musica, the Borghese Gallery and the

harmony with the territory and the seasons has been attested with Conosci il tuo pasto from

Flaminio area, where the Olympic Stadium and

the Istituto Mediterraneo di Certificazione, and favours organic ingredients, D.O.P., I.G.P..

the Sports Palace are located, the headquarters of various culture and sport events, as well as many restaurants and cafes.

Sina Bernini Bristol

A story which began over twenty years ago. And series of

Vicolo dei Soldati, 31 +39 066869432

Via F. Civinini, 46 +39 06 802401

Housed in one of the most prestigious locations in Rome, at

the crossroads of Via Veneto and Via Sistina, close to Trinità dei Monti and overlooking the magnificent Fontana del Tritone by Bernini in Piazza Barberini. Long known as the meeting place of the Dolce Vita jet setters, the Sina Bernini Bristol is home to the world’s most sophisticated travellers, offering them newly renovated accommodation, with marble baths and all the premium comforts. The Tritone Suite on the sixth floor has been designed for the most demanding guests seeking an exclusive and comfortable place, where they can enjoy one of the best views in the world. The suite’s exclusive facilities include a private gym and a large terrace with a swimming pool. The Hotel also offers a fully equipped wellness club, including beauty treatments, for complete relaxation.

Metamorfosi Earth and nature are the elements which first hit you. The Metamorfosi room puts the dishes at the heart of the ambience, immersed in a setting of minimal design, suffused with soft tones, with wall paintings created by an artisan reprising an ancient Sicilian technique and tactile materials like wood which winds around with evocative details. The kitchen is headed by Roy Caceres a chef with Colombian origins, who has created a series of innovative recipes and every menu is a choral narrative journey, which respects and gives value to the identity and flavour of ingredients, produce and combinations. A precious gift is the series of tasting menus available online, perfect as a gift for special occasions. Via Giovanni Antonelli, 30 +39 068076839 •

Piazza Barberini, 23 +39 06488931 EQUESTRIAN ILLUSTRATED

Destination 45

JULY 2017


GSTAAD • Hotels •


• Restaurants • Chubut

Chubut is a province of Patagonian

Argentina, set in the vast plains between the Andes Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. This wild landscape, its pure meandering river, its breathtaking horizons and its rich local produce are the inspiration behind Chubut Food & Fire. Chef Agustin Brañas pushes the boundaries of live fire cuisine producing a menu that is both elegant and authentic. It delights the palate by transforming the finest ingredients into a meeting of textures, that are both rustic and refined, creating the essence of taste. Chubut is a return to simplicity and by using the magic

Alpina Gstaad This luxurious 5-star hotel which opened in December 2012 is characterized

of fire, Chef Agustin Brañas aspires to evoke

by its elegant Swiss Alpine style, featuring natural materials such as marble, sandstone and aged

emotion, arouse memories and take his guests

wood. The rooms and suites are unique, all having balconies with a mountain view. Facilities

on an unforgettable culinary journey to a land

include marble bathrooms with a flat-screen TV, luxurious toiletries, slippers and luxury

where the food both excites and soothes the soul.

bathrobes. Some suites also feature an open fireplace and provide an iPad for guests to use during

Park Gstaad Wispilenstrasse, 29 +41 337489800 •

their stay. The hotel features three restaurants, including the Megu, which serves Japanese cuisine overlooking the Bernese Alps. The Six Senses Spa is complimentary for hotel guests and features holistic treatments, an indoor and heated outdoor pool, a fitness room, and a relaxation area. WiFi, wired internet access and covered parking are free of charge over the entire property. Alpinastrasse, 23 +41 338889888

Grand Hotel Park Gstaad Since it opened in 1910, the Park Gstaad has been synonymous with understated luxury, having interiors inspired by the surrounding scenery. Its four restaurants offer a wide range of options; from contemporary cuisine to the flavours of Argentina, from traditional Swiss dishes, in a chalet-style setting, to sushi and fine wines and aperitifs, paired with cured meats and aged cheeses, in


the Caveau bar. The Cigar Lounge features a selection of

offering from the hotel Gstaad Palace. Named after the

the finest Cuban cigars and cognacs, whilst the library

hotel’s maître d’ who has been an indispensable part of the

is a cosy place in which to enjoy light afternoon tea or

Gstaad Palace since the sixties, it is famous for its authentic

cocktails. The hotel spa is comprised of ten treatment

Italian food, prepared by selected internationally renowned

rooms and an indoor saltwater pool, with an outdoor

chefs. Gildo Bocchini and his Italian team have been able to

heated pool for the summer months. A hot tub, saunas,

create a unique and cosy atmosphere in the middle of the

Turkish, hydrotherapy and balneotherapy baths,

Swiss Alps.

relaxation areas, and a hairdresser are also available on site, in addition to a fitness centre with personal Wispilenstrasse, 29 +41 337489800 • trainer, and a state-of-the-art Indoor Golf Club.

Gstaad Palace

The restaurant is part of the renowned food

Gstaad Palace Palacestrasse, 28 +41 337485000


more than 100 years, Gstaad Palace has epitomized the art of Swiss hospitality amid the breathtaking beauty of the Swiss Alps. Located on a hilltop near the heart of Gstaad, the hotel has been managed for 75 years by the Scherz family, whose style embodies an era when hoteliers were still hoteliers not corporations. The guest list of the Gstaad Palace reads like a who’s who of the international jet set. It includes regulars such as Hollywood stars Roger Moore, John Travolta and Julie Andrews, as well as French presidents and the managing directors of globally operating firms. In addition to offering a fabulous 100 rooms and suites with breath-taking views of the Saanenland valley, the Palace is also renowned for its food. At nearly 2000 square metres the hotel’s Palace spa is expansive, eight treatment rooms, a private spa suite, saunas and steam baths, relaxation areas with Swiss style fireplace, an indoor swimming pool and outdoor pool with Jacuzzi, a gym and a pilates studio overlooking panoramic mountain vistas. A real treasure of the Gstaad Palace is the rooftop located spectacular 240 square metre Penthouse Suite, offering a breathtaking setting with panoramic views over the majestic Swiss Alps of Gstaad. The 150 square metre terrace which surrounds the suite provides a recreation area for relaxing, including Jacuzzi and a sauna in the tower. An elevator provides total privacy and security for its residents.

Chesery The restaurant, located in a square in the centre of Gstaad, vaunts a cozy bar and a small terrace. Here, Robert Speth, Gault Millau’s Chef of the year 2005, has been creating his highly awarded Cuisine Pure since 1984. For Robert Speth the excellent quality of the products is his main priority. If possible, regional products are used. Berries and mushrooms are harvested locally, fish comes from certified catches and meat is often sourced directly from farmers. Alte Lauenenstrasse 6 +41 33 744 24 51

Palacestrasse, 28 +41 337485000



Legal Corner

JULY 2017





t the FEI General Assembly held in Tokyo on November 22nd, the FEI proposed changing the current Olympic competition format for equestrian sport to become one of three-man teams with the elimination of a drop score and openings for an active reserve to be put on the team at any point during competition. FEI member federations approved the proposed changes. The decision produced a strong negative reaction from the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) and the North American Riders Club (NARG), also supported by the President of Jumping Owners Club ( JOC). Riders pointed out that our sport is actually going in the opposite direction compared to the FEI decision. At the last Olympics in Rio, the dressage teams were composed of four combinations instead of three and were of the highest level seen for a long time. Also in jumping, the last Games offered one of the most exciting team competitions ever. The FEI reacted to all these criticisms stressing that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) asked the FEI for more universality in our sport, with the aim of being more attractive, both for television audiences and live spectators. The FEI is convinced that the new format will see an increase of flags in equestrian events, so that more countries will watch the Olympics on television, thereby increasing broadcasting revenues. The proposed new format has been judged by the FEI to be “the only solution possible”, because no broadcaster will cover an Olympic event that does not include athletes from its own country and, as a consequence, this would reduce the size of interested audiences. The FEI decision is based on the principle of the “universality of sport”, which is common not only to our discipline. It is easy to remember that the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) recently decided to expand the Football World Cup finals, by increasing the number of participating teams from 32 to 48 commencing in 2026, with dedicated attention to fans, television and sponsors. Granted that jumping is clearly a dangerous sport for horses and riders, within the new format there is a real risk that smaller and more inexperienced nations would be tempted to send to the Olympics, both insufficiently experienced riders and horses unable to compete at such a high level. The B-Finals at the last Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup in Barcelona represent a clear example of this risk, when we consider that the score of the teams in the Challenge Cup varied between 12 (1st place) to 36 (last place). These high scores are not what we want to show at the Olympic Games and if the FEI is bringing people into the sport who are not fit to jump the course, the course builder has to dumb the level down to avoid serious risk of accidents both to riders and horses. Moreover, if a team has three riders at the start of the competition and the first rider has an elimination score, the team might as well pull out. In answer to the FEI’s concern of increasing the flags in equestrian events to encourage more countries to watch the Olympics on TV, the riders proposed different solutions able to achieve the same result. As there is a good number of small countries having one rider who can compete in the Olympics, the FEI could have considered fewer teams (of 4), which would allow more individuals and therefore more nations to compete. Alternatively, the FEI could have considered reallocating a portion of the overall Olympic horse quota. To make the sport easier to follow, the FEI could have pushed the organizers to improve the scoreboard, the announcers and the TV commentators. Logical improvements to these components - as is the case in other sports - could make the standing of each team clear for everyone watching. The above considerations lead us to the heart of the matter; that is to say, why has the FEI decided, after a due period of consultation, to change the Olympic format

in conflict with the riders’ opinions. The answer is because the actual voting system allows the FEI to do it. The FEI General Assembly voting system gives the same vote to every Federation regardless of its size within the FEI. Important equestrian nations like France, Germany and The Netherlands - which have a total of 13.141 riders competing at a high level and have 21.270 registered horses - have a single vote each, the same vote which is attributed to nations without a single athlete or registered horse. It was mainly these small countries who approved the new format in Tokyo; from a total of 134 National Federations voting, 60 do not organize any equestrian events, 17 do not have riders and 26 do not have horses. Just to make a comparison, other international federations - like the International Skiing Federation - already require a minimum number of athletes, concrete participation at the highest level in international events and the organization of top international events to obtain the right to vote. The result of the actual FEI voting system is a serious problem of representation in our sport, because the decision taken in Tokyo was supported by non-active federations at the expense of those who work tirelessly for the sport. We really think that the FEI should now address this issue and draw up criteria for affiliation, establishing a federation’s right to vote. Technical sporting questions require the input of established experts in the field. Following their lead, our sport would become more professional and credible. The number one recommendation in the 2020 Agenda clearly states that the IOC should “put the athletes’ experience at the heart of the Olympic Games”. Can a federation with no athletes and no horses, really have the experience to allow it to decide the new Olympic Games format?


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