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Emiliano Portale


 Vittoria Panizzon


 Stefano Brecciaroli



Documento 1




The FEI has assigned the European challenge to Italy. An event set for september, awarding twelve continental medals.  The countdown begins for “FEI European Eventing Championships for young riders and juniors ”.


It will be a busy year for Italy’s young eventers and eventing trainers who are  preparing for an outstanding challenge, the FEI European Eventing Championships for Young Riders and Juniors” which will be held in Rome at the Military Equestrian Centre of Montelibretti. Having chosen the same venue for both championships one can say Italy’s bid has been very well rewarded by the FEI. 12 medals will be presented at the event which is set for september.

The Military Equestrian Centre of Montelibretti has hosted three Nations Cup  Eventing competitions and other prestigious international equestrian events in the past and is now preparing to celebrate the 2016 european upcoming champions.


Although six “FEI European Eventing Junior Championships” (Pratoni del Vivaro 1974, 1983, 1987,1994, 2000, 2004) and two editions of the “FEI European Eventing Young Riders Championships” (Pratoni del Vivaro 1997, Turin 1991) have already been hosted by Italy, the country is not amongst the major organizers of this type of eventing competition. With a total of 16 editions (9 juniors, 7 young riders) this leadership belongs to Great Britain, followed closely by Germany (14 editions, 8 junior/6 young rider) and France (14 editions, 10 junior/ 4 young rider).


Great Britain also holds another important record. British riders have been the most successful in both categories winning 33 junior and 31 young rider gold medals. Their results outshine Germany’s tally of 29 junior and 23 young rider golds. Third place goes to France with 16 junior and 8 young rider gold medals.


In Montelibretti the British will try to defend their 2015 young rider individual and team title, while the Germans will do their best to bring back the junior individual and team gold for the second year running.


Out go all teams, the most eager will be the Italians. Their latest junior individual gold medal has been won by Vittoria Panizzon with Grommet back in 2000 (Rome, Pratoni del Vivaro). Vittoria has since developed into one of the world’s leading eventing riders. She has taken part in 2 Olympic Games and has recently conquered a place for Rio thanks to her outstanding competition record. Italy’s most recent junior team gold medal was won in 2003 (Filippo Tabarini/Arnoldo, Martina Sgarzani/Faramon, Evelina Bertoli/Elektra, Luca Bommino/Allegra) at Pardubice (CZE), while young rider gold medals have always eluded the country’s riders.


Being able to host two European championships at the same time and in the same place is no mean feat. Being chosen by the International Equestrian Federation is an accomplishment in itself and for that the country has to credit Gianfranco Ravà who officially submitted Italy's bid during the time he was acting as Special Commissioner FISE (Italian Equestrian Federation), a role he was appointed for by CONI (Italian Olympic Committee). 

“The Equestrian Military Centre of Montelibretti - said Gianfranco Ravà - is well known by the FEI. Many international events have already been successfully organized on its premises. The Italian Equestrian Federation has immediately welcomed the addition of this event to its international calendar knowing that the high standard of Montelibretti's facilities and Organization Committee would guarantee the ability to meet the FEI's requirements.” 


With Ravà's pursual, Italy obtained the assignment from FEI. A success that has given THE NATION one more prospective for the promotion of equestrian sports, especially eventing.

“The Military Equestrian Centre of Montelibretti - said Michele Perugini, Lieutenant Colonel and Sport and Training Branch Chief of the Equestrian Military Centre of Montelibretti - is delighted and honored to be hosting such a prestigious event, which is an acknowledgment of the work done over the years in the organization of international events. The experience and the professionalism of our staff will be a valuable contribution to the success of the "FEI European Eventing Championships for Young Riders and Juniors - presented by Saudia Airlines“. Preparations are already underway and we will work hard to make our  Italian Equestrian Federation shine at the Military Centre of Montelibretti, while promoting our fascinating discipline".


Vittorio Orlandi, President of the Italian Equestrian Federation, welcomes the continental event with enthusiasm: “Italy, and in this particular case, the Military Equestrian Centre of Montelibretti, have proven their organizational abilities more than once and are well capable to meet the very high standards required by an event like the “FEI European Eventing Championships for Young Riders and Juniors”. The show that will be staged next september is a fantastic opportunity for the development of our sport. First of all it will give our juniors and young riders the chance to compete and prove themselves against the best European athletes. Furthermore  it will also be very motivating, helping them to mature both as sportsmen and as individuals. To the Italian riders competing in Montelibretti I say ‘stay cool and concentrated’. From my own experience I know how hard it is to keep calm and focused when you have to represent your country with the added pressure of competing on home ground. In any case, I am confident that our riders will battle like young gladiators. In the past these championships have proven a valuable springboard for many international riders' senior careers. Only to mention a few Marina Sciocchetti and Anna Casagrande (Bronze Junior European Team medallists in 1976 that  have later  conquered an Olympic team silver, 1980), Stefano Brecciaroli (one of our most successful eventers and three-time Olympian  who has won individual and team gold at the Junior Europeans in 1992 and has claimed an individual bronze medal at the Young Riders Europeans in '94) and Vittoria Panizzon, a junior individual champion herself who has represented Italy in two editions of the Olympic Games (she won individual gold and team bronze in 2000 and individual silver and team bronze at the European Young Rider Championships 2003)”.


For the ninth time in Equestrian history Italy is preparing to welcome young eventers in their quest for European glory. The Military Equestrian Center of Montelibretti in Rome will host an event that will witness the abilities of the next generation of champions.

Excitement is building up as Italian talents and their coaches are concentrating on their mission of adding more medals to their tally. Italy's young riders have never achieved individual or team glory and a gold medal in the under 21 championship will be their main goal. The last medal captured by an Italian young rider is Eleonora Boschi's individual silver aboard Hotchkiss McManus in Malmo, Sweden, in 2012. The last time the team has stood on the podium was back in 2008 when Federico Riso/Well Measured, Mattia Luciani/Flying Brinkmann, Sara Breschi/Riva Ruel, Stella Benatti/Monarc Du Parc collected  the bronze medal. Since Vittoria Panizzon claimed the individual title in 2000 riding Grommet in Pratoni del Vivaro (Rome) a win has eluded Italian juniors. Their last individual medal has been captured by Evelina Bertoli who won bronze on Elektra in Pratoni del Vivaro in 2004. As a team  Francesca Banchelli/Joker d’Helby, Martina Camilla Crippa/Jenga, Francesca Malaspina/Cancun and Umberto Riva/Milady de la Loge have claimed bronze in Bad Segeberg (Germany, 2010).


One cannot talk about Juniors and Young Riders  European Eventing Championships without mentioning Great Britain's records. The British have hosted 16 European Eventing Championships (7 for Young Riders and 9 for Juniors), more than any other nation, but more importantly, they have won the largest number of medals too.

31 Young Riders and 32 Juniors gold medals have been conquered by riders wearing the Union Jack. An incredible achievement. In Rome British young riders will be defending champions as they have claimed both the individual and the team title in 2015.

Regarding records Germany is biting on Great Britain's heels. Germans have won gold 53 times (23 young riders, 30 juniors) and hold both the individual and the juniors 2015 titles.



Documento 2




Europe’s best young eventers will battle for 12 medals in Montelibretti. Roman protagonists of Italian eventing, those who have recently succeeded in qualifying a composite team for their country for the Rio Olympic Games, have all moved up through the ranks of Juniors and Young Riders European Eventing Championships.

2016 is an emotional and busy year for Italian eventing. Beside the Olympic challenge the spotlight will be pointed on the eventing youngsters competing for European glory in Montelibretti at the Military Equestrian Centre (22/25 September). The “FEI European Eventing Championships for Young Riders and Juniors- presented by Saudia Airlines” is a continental event at which the individual and team champions of both categories will be crowned.

Could there be Italy’s future champions among the talented riders battling for the European titles? While they will be still learning the ropes of this fantastic discipline in Montelibretti next september, 8 years on the same riders could be the ones we will cheer on during the 2024 Olympics, possibly held in Italy.

Stefano Brecciaroli’s personal experience proves that dreams sometimes do come true. The Roman rider is a former junior individual and team Gold medallist (titles won in 1992). He also took individual bronze at the 1994 European Young Riders Championships before starting his brilliant senior career. He has competed in three Olympic Games and has qualified for Rio which will be his forth.

The same goes for Vittoria Pannizzon, also from Rome. Individual champion and team bronze medallist at the Junior European Championships back in 2000, she has conquered individual silver and team bronze at the 2003 Young Riders European Championships. Vittoria has represented Italy twice at the Olympics and has obtained the qualification for Rio 2016. The circle closes with Pietro Roman, the third Italian (and Roman) rider to gain qualification for the Rio Olympic Games. Years before earning a place on the Italian senior squad he has been member of the junior team at the 2004 Europeans. Pietro has inherited the passion for the eventing sport and the ambition to make it to the Olympics by his father Federico, the last Italian eventing Olympic champion (Moscow 1980). Federico Roman, today an instructor, but above all a proud father, encourages all youngsters.

The Young Riders and Juniors FEI European Championships – declared Federico Roman – represent an important experience for the senior careers of all the riders participating, not only for those who win. The responsibility involved in riding on a team allows an athlete to test his self control and nerves. His junior years have been crucial in the development of my son Pietro, teaching him lessons that have contributed in making him the rider he is today. To those competing at this year’s Euros I recommend to stay focused and concentrated. ‘Try hard to keep your emotions under control’. The ability of controlling our own emotions always makes the difference in all sports.”

Team effort, self control, motivation and maturity: these will be the keys to success. Giovanni Malagò, President of the Italian Olympic Committee, shares the same opinion: “Sport means growing, it teaches youngsters to bring out the best in themselves without losing humility, to respect their competitors and the rules and, in the case of equitation, to have respect for the horse.”.

Enough good reasons to keep our eyes on the youngsters, as  Mauro Checcoli testifies with his Olympic Gold Eventing medal won at only 21 years old (Tokyo 1964).

Eventing needs talent, but talent alone is not enough – said Mauro Checcoli – it also requires method, culture and respect for the horse. My advice to the European Young Riders and Junior participants: In sport as in life, it is essential never to stop learning .”



Documento 3


Piazza di Siena and Montelibretti: two identical arenas for one purpose


The CSIO of Rome will host the press conference for the FEI European Eventing Championships for Young Riders and Juniors 2016 – presented by Saudi Airlines.

Save the date: 28th of May

Representatives of the Military Equestrian Centre of Montelibretti (CME), organizing committee of the event named “FEI European Eventing Championships for Young Riders and Juniors 2016 – presented by Saudi Airlines” (22/25 September), will meet the press and the enthusiastic eventing followers in Rome to officially present this continental event on Saturday the 28th of May (12.00hrs).

The press conference will be held in Piazza di Siena during the historic CSIO of Rome. This particular location has been chosen because of the strong relationship between the CME and Piazza di Siena.

In the Second Postwar, the Military Equestrian Centre of Montelibretti, known as  “head quarters” of Piero D’inzeo, decided it should have an identical arena to the famous international show-ground. An exact replica was built not only by taking in account the measurements and the positioning of the water jump and ditch, they also chose the same exposition to the sun of the arena that hosts the jumping in Piazza di Siena.

A twin of Villa Borghese was inserted into the “National Military Equestrian Centre of Montelibretti” (at that time was so called). This was decided by General Gerardo Conforti and by Antonio Gutierrez, both of whom contributed in bringing the Italian team back to success, after the Second Postwar. The arena of Montelbretti was named ‘Piazza di Siena’.


The arena was finished in 1950 and had the purpose of strengthening the preparation of the Italian team (three quarters of which military) for the official horse show of Rome.


Having a “show arena” at home immediately revealed its usefulness as the results of the show jumping “gladiators” training in Montelibretti showed: 5 Nations Cup wins were conquered during the six years following the construction of the arena from 1950 to 1955. In those years, when the Italians started to prepare themselves for the Rome Olympic Games of 1960, in Piazza di Siena, the decision was made to elevate the area of Montelibretti to the country’s “Pre-Olympic Military Equestrian Centre”.


Montelibretti became the retreat and training camp for the Italian team. Using its ‘Piazza di Siena’ arena, surely paid dividends for the show-jumping squad as three medals were won in the XVI Olympic Games. Raimondo D’Inzeo took individual gold on Posillipo, his brother Piero was awarded individual silver for his efforts on The Rock and the team made up of Piero d’Inzeo (The Rock), Raimondo D’Inzeo (Posilllipo) and Antonio Oppes (The Scholar) won the bronze medal.


A success that was relived during the following ten years with another 6 victories in the Rome Nations Cup. Different teams but always using the same method of training at Montelibretti.


It will be an emotional event – declared Giacomo della Chiesa, technical coordinator of the “FEI European Eventing Championships for Young Riders and Juniors 2016 – presented by Saudi Airlines” – Eventing’s promising youngsters will be doing their dressage and show-jumping tests in an arena that has contributed to Italy’s greatest equestrian successes and that is part of  the Italian Equestrian History. After having been a show ground for top international show-jumpers in the past, this arena today is rejuvenated dedicating itself to the Europe’s future champions”.

“I am confident - declared FISE President Vittorio Orlandi - that the enthusiasm for the Italian qualification to the Olympics will also involve our juniors and young riders who will be participating in the European challenge. It will be a special experience for them, confronting the rest of Europe, in this magic venue, that has assisted in the rise of many top italian riders”.

Documento 4


With 120 days to go until the start of the FEI European Eventing Championship for Young Riders and Juniors 2016 Presented by Saudia, the Military Equestrian Centre of Montelibretti has met the press.

Moderated by the experienced journalist Andrea Marini, the Press Conference of the FEI European Eventing Championship for Young Riders and Juniors 2016 was hosted during the 84° CSIO Roma Intesa San Paolo - Piazza di Siena Master Fratelli D’Inzeo with the stunning backdrop of Villa Borghese.

President Vittorio Orlandi, General Francesco Caramia and Colonel Gianfranco Fedele welcomed the guests with their speeches.

The European challenge for juniors and young riders will be held at the Military Equestrian Centre of Montelibretti (Rome) from the 21st to the 25th of september. It has been 11 years since these championships have been organized in Italy. With the next generation of senior champions competing against each other the competition has an enormous importance as it gives everyone a glimpse of what the future will bring.

This has inspired a new hashtag #futuregoesfromhere. The best ambassador of the event is the German Michael Jung, an athlete who grew up through the junior and young rider ranks and who has now conquered every possible title and gold medal on the planet. Despite his young age his achievements are so numerous that he is referred to as an ‘ the alien’ by journalists and by his many fans. Before winning gold at the Olympics, at the Europeans and at the World Equestrian Games Michael gained the individual European young rider title (in 2003 when he beat Italy’s Vittoria Panizzon who claimed the silver medal).

“Junior and Young Riders European Championships greatly influence the development of young riders’ careers - notes Michael- It is the only chance our youngsters get to experience a true championship situation and it’s the only time they are asked to ride as part of a team. These championships will put them under pressure very much like a senior championship will do later on. They learn to perform under pressure, they learn to fight together and to take on additional responsabilities. Therefore I think that this competition deserves the same media attention and that it should get the same visibility as a true European Championship”.

During the Press Conference two Italian senior riders, Emiliano Portale (sergeant of the Italian Army) and Evelina Bertoli (agent of the Police Prison Service), were introduced. Both have had great success at junior and young riders levels before starting their senior careers.

VITTORIO ORLANDI, “The Army is a fundamental asset for equestrianism” .

“The youth represents the starting point of every nation’s sportive and non sportive future - recalls the President of the Fise. Although our riders are quite successful internationally we need to go one step further in our cultural progress and to do so we need to respect our traditions. With that in mind the FISE and the Military Equestrian Centre are laying the foundations for an academy (which will be based in Montelibretti) where grooms and riders will be trained. The riders will learn the art of producing young horses from scratch.

COLONEL GIANFRANCO FEDELE, “It will be a very special edition”.

“Ours is a facility of national importance - tells the CME Commander. We have decided to apply for these championships because we wanted to do something more for the equestrian sport and to prove our organizing skills on an international level. I have to personally thank Gianfranco Ravà and Max Andrè Barbacini, who in their role of special commissioners FISE, have supported us making the allocation of the European Championships to Montelibretti possible. Now we can look ahead and work hard to make it a truly special event with the help of our sponsor Saudia.”

GENERAL FRANCESCO CARAMIA, “European Championships, an event of great value” .

“I am honored to preside the organizing committee of these championships. ‘Future goes from here’ is the perfect slogan for an event that will draw Europe’s attention. It is our aim to give all participants, their staff and their families the best possible reception. We will also organize tours and visits to show our guests the beautiful surroundings and get a taste of our precious Made in Italy”.

LIEUTENENT COLONEL GIACOMO DELLA CHIESA, “We are working hard. The password is safety.”

“Work is underway to develop a completely new cross country course with the help of Giuseppe della Chiesa, the appointed course designer”, reveals the technical coordinator of the competition. “As we are speaking about European Championships the course should be unknown and new to all competitors, also to our own riders. Two different courses will run mostly parallel to each other, with the young riders’ round running over a slightly longer track (juniors will face 30 jumping efforts spread over 4.350 metres, while 5.100 metres is the length for the young riders who will have to overcome 35 jumping efforts). There will be three waters, two lakes and a spectacular crossing of a natural torrent. All of the new fences, about 20 in total, will be entirely home made. We have focused our attention on safety measures. All of the new obstacles will have innovative systems like frangible pins and quick release mechanisms which will work in case of a very hard impact. Also the footing will be looked after in order to provide the perfect grip for everyone. The dressage and show-jumping phases will be held in the famous “Piazza di Siena” arena, the twin arena of Villa Borghese’s international show-jumping ground”.

AGENT OF THE POLICE PRISON SERVICE EVELINA BERTOLI, “Junior and young riders Europeans are fundamental for a rider’s education”.

“Sadly my European bronze has remained Italy’s last European Junior medal - says the rider. Too many years have passed, 12 in total, and I really hope that new medals will be won by the young Italians in this edition on home ground as it happened to me back in 2004 in the Pratoni del Vivaro. To compete and to win in front of your home crowd is a very special experience for every athlete and I hope that this event will boost our riders’ motivation to pursue a senior career and reach important goals. The junior Europeans have made me hungry for more and have given me the chance to find backing from the Police Prison Service whose uniform I have worn at the 2014 World Equestrian Games and whom I have to thank for the daily support and the help it still gives me”.

SERGEANT EMILIANO PORTALE, “Proud to be part of Montelibretti’s team”.

“For me Montelibretti is a magical place where I had the chance to grow up and develop into the rider I am today. I owe everything to the Army whose backing put me back on a horse when I couldn’t afford to pursue eventing as a career. From there on I have celebrated many wins with young Italian horses and have made many senior championships appearances. The 450 hectares Montelibretti offers for our training form a unique facility of which every eventer dreams of and it is therefore the ideal place to host the European challenge ahead.”

FEDERICO ROMAN, “The European Youth Championships represents an obligatory step in the growth process of the Italian Eventing.”

“The Juniors and Young Riders Europeans are fundamental to prepare athletes for their senior careers - announces Moscow’s Olympic champion. In my early days, with no under 21 championship to attend, the plunge into the senior world was quite traumatic. Nowadays our young athletes get the chance to mature gradually through the junior and the young riders’ ranks before facing the senior challenges. This is proven by the many Italian senior riders that have previously achieved successes in under 18 and under 21 age classes. That said this year’s Europeans will be hosted in a very special place: Montelibretti. The first time I competed at the Military Equestrian Centre was back in 1968 for the National Junior Championship. Since then I have experienced Montelibretti both as a rider and as a selector and have witnessed the incredible strengths of a facility which constantly progresses and innovates it’s organization, it’s courses and it’s services, keeping up to date without sacrificing it’s incredible tradition of horsemanship.”

HESHAM IBRAHEEM BINDKHAIL - General Manager SAUDIA Italy, Greece, Cyprus & Malta: “The Saudia Arabian Airlines is pleased to participate as a presenting sponsor to the FEI European Eventing Championship for Young Riders and Juniors 2016. It is an honor for us to be the main partners of a competition so important for European athletes and to be by the side of the Italian organizations of the highest order. We wish to thank the FEI, the President of the Organizing Committee, General Caramia, The Italian Army and the Italian Equestrian Federation for letting us be part of this prestigious event. Are Country has always been tied to the equestrian world, so what better to bring our cultures together? Think, our frequent flyer program is called ‘Alfursan’, which in Arabic means ‘knight’.”


Documento 5




Rome is the cradle of eventing.

Italy’s capital has fallen in love with the toughest of the equestrian disciplines from the very beginning. The bond between Rome and the sport of eventing grew stronger and stronger through the years leading to the creation of one of Europe’s most fascinating equestrian facilities that was named Pratoni del Vivaro. An immense area of hilly terrain just outside the city was transformed into a modern equestrian center where Italian young riders as well as seasoned olympians had everything needed for the best possible preparation of their horses.

Beside many other prestigious international events this green oasis situated in Rocca di Papa  also hosted the senior European Championships (1995 and 2007), the World Equestrian Games (1998) and the Olympics (1960).


Rome also has two other important locations for training and competitions: the Military Race Course in Tor di Quinto and the Military Equestrian Centre of Montelibretti.


Looking back at eventing’s history one shouldn’t be surprised to find out that the discipline was actually born in Rome and as the city can be considered the capital of eventing the Italian military corps can be seen as it’s founders.


It is well known that the historical roots of equitation are linked to the military world, but few realize that eventing was born wearing a military uniform. Captain Federico Caprilli (Livorno 1868/TORINO 1907),  the Italian Cavalry officer whose ‘natural style’ revolutionized the jumping seat, also invented a particularly tough training method that got soldiers used to riding through the countryside by using banks, lakes, tree branches and ditches long before these fences became the natural jumps of which today’s cross country courses are made of. They were useful exercises for preparing the troops to cross the country with no fear during their military actions. Not only did this system improve the firmness of the military personnel’s seats, it also made their horses athletically and psychologically fit for crossing the country during their missions. The effectiveness of this training meant it was soon adopted by the most important riders in the world.


It was using this system that Colonel Alessandro Bettoni Cazzago (Brescia 1982/Roma 1951) prepared his troops for the last Cavalry charge carried out by the Italian Army during the second World War. This battle is known as the “Isbuscenskji Charge” (Russia 24th august 1942). Bettoni Cazzago, one of the best Italian riders of his time, was twice a winner at the International Horse Show of Piazza di Siena (1929/1940) and also participated in the Olympic Games in London (1948).


Devoted to the system invented by Federico Caprilli was Cavalry officer Amedeo Guillet (Piacenza 1909/Rome2010). Guillet excelled as a horseman and was selected for the Italian eventing team for the Berlin Olympics in 1936. But he didn’t participate as Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 interrupted his career as a competition rider. Guillet was an expert in colonial wars and was platoon commander during the first actions of the war in Ethiopia as well as commanding a unit during the Spanish Civil War. At the beginning of World War II the Italian Viceroy Amedeo Duke of Aosta gave lieutenant Guillet command of the 1,700 strong Amhara Cavalry Bande, an irregular unit made up of recruits from Ethiopia and Eritrea. He earned a Silver Medal for his war actions and his soldiers, who idolised him, nicknamed him Devil Commander because they thought he was immortal.


Going back to the eventing discipline, for some time after the second World War it remained a sport reserved almost exclusively to the military Calvary and was used to test the bravery and resistance of horses and riders.


For this reason, when it became a sportive discipline, in many European countries this type of competitions was named “military”.


The first “military” international was held in Brussels in 1905.


In Italy the first edition of the national eventing championship was held in 1907 at Tor di Quinto (Rome) and was won by its founder Federico Caprilli.


Tor di Quinto also hosted the first International Eventing Championship (1908). 103 army riders from Argentina, Belgium, France, Italy, Romania, Russia and Spain attended.