Italy with two formidable rounds and totaling 9 faults returned to the highest podium in the CSIO5* Rome integrated by Piergiorgio Bucci, Alberto Zorzi, Lorenzo de Luca and Bruno Chimirri. Canada with no luck in eighth place. (Photo © piazzadisiena.it)
After 32 years the Team Italy obtained the victory in Longines FEI Nations Cup of Rome, totalizing in its two rounds 9 faults, being led by Alberto Zorzi with one of the three double clear rounds.
The course designed by Uliano Vezzani of Italy in the CSIO5* Roma with 8 Nations, had a first round where they matched with 4 faults Italian and Dutch leading favoritism, while near in third place were the Swedes with 7 fouls.
As the 85th edition of Piazza di Siena in the Italian capital, the local riders were able to raise their seats to the audience in each of their course for the second round, starting with Piergiorgio Bucci next to 13-year-old stallion Casallo Z (Casall x Carthago Z) who came from completing 4 fouls in first round, got the first clear for the Italians. Then as second in the star order, Alberto Zorzi added his second clear round with 12-year-old mare Fair Light van T Heike (Vigo d’Arsouilles x Darco), being the most outstanding by the winners, while the best Italian rider of the moment Lorenzo de Luca, World No. 6, secured with 5 fouls next to 13-year-old gelding Ensor of Litrange Lxii (Nabab de Reve x Mr Blue) the victory in more than three decades, totaling 9 faults like a Team. The other member of the Italian team was Bruno Chimirri, being in his two rounds eliminated.
The second place was for Netherlands, who came to match in the first round with the winners, but finally finished with 9 fouls in second round for a great total of 13 fouls, complicating when the current World Champion Jeroen Dubbeldam retired and losing a good possible result and leaving all the responsibility for his teammates, where Gerco Schröder with his 14-year-old gelding Glock’S Cognac Champblanc (Clearway x Caretino 2) got 4 fouls, Jur Vrieling with 11-year-old stallion Vdl Glasgow Vh Merelsnest (Nabab de Reve x Darco) added another 4 fouls round and Marc Houtzager exceeded the agreed time to be penalized with 1 foul accompanied by 10-year-old gelding Sterrehof’S Calimero (Quidam de Revel x Achill).
For third place there was a draw between Ireland and Spain, both with same first round of 13 fouls and 4 fouls in second pass, with accumulated of 17 fouls. The Irish had as highlights in second round Shane Sweetnam and Shane Breen with clear rounds and the Spaniards had Eduardo Alvarez Aznar and Sergio Alvarez Moya under the same results.
The rest of the nations that participated were France in fifth place totaling 20 fouls with Kevin Staut (4/0) as the most outstanding, tying in fifth place were representatives of Sweden, who lost all their advantage in the second round with 13 fouls, but it emphasized with second double clear round Douglas Lindelöw and Zacramento (Cardento x Cortus). For seventh place Switzerland, who also had the formidable performance of Olympic medalist Steve Guerdat and his mare Bianca (Balou du Rouet x Cardento), was the last double clear round of Nations Cup, so that his team completed in 24 fouls there two rounds.
The Pan American Ranking representatives did not count on a good effectiveness course, being like Canada finished in the eighth place integrated by Yann Candele that was not in its better day with two fields of 12 faults each one, Kara Chad went with 8 and 4 fouls, Jaclyn Duff surprised with 1 foul in his first round and 8 fouls in second, while Olympic medalist and current World No. 4 Eric Lamaze, did not doit a good first round with Chacco Kid (Chacco Blue x Come On), in 8 faults and was clear in the second, totaling the Canadian 29 faults.