The Italian equestrian federation (FISE) and the chief of the FISE dressage department, Laura Conz, have announced the team that will represent Italy at the 2015 European Championships in Aachen, Germany, on 12 - 16 August 2015. True to Italian tradition, the team selection is once again based on rule-bending and non-compliance with own set selection criteria.
Conz and FISE had set as selection criterium for the 2015 European Championships three times 66% in a Grand Prix test at a CDI. Riders had to achieve this mark at international dressage competitions with three times 66% as final score, only in a Grand Prix test. Scores achieved in Grand Prix Specials, freestyles and GP consolation classes were not accepted. Scores had to be achieved in the period September 2014 - July 2015 and only one score could have been achieved at a CDI hosted in Italy, the other two scores had to be achieved abroad.
Two of the selected team members, Ester Soldi and reserve member Federica Scolari, were unable to achieve this standard but are submitted to the team nonetheless. Soldi scored above 66% only twice, in Caselle di Sommacampagne and Lipica. Scolari did not even achieve 66% once.
Micol Rustignoli achieved her three scores at the CDI Vidauban, CDI Villach and CDI Arezzo; Leonardo Tiozzo at Vidauban, Caselle and Brno. Italian team anchor Valentina Truppa brought her top horse Eremo del Castegno back from injury and got her marks at Lyon, Nice and Munich.
Furthermore, the health of Valentina Truppa is still unsure. On 7 June 2015 Valentina fell off a 7-year old at a national show in Arezzo and got hit against the head. She spent two weeks in the hospital of which the first few days were in an induced coma to reduce brain swelling. The rider has been rehabilitating at home now, but is waiting for a final medical check-up on 29 July before she knows when she can start riding again.
Four of the five team members selected for Aachen are trained by Italian 5* judge Enzo Truppa. Leonardo Tiozzo is coached by Christoph Koschel and his mother.
The Italian team includes:
- Micol Rustignoli - Corallo Nero
- Ester Soldi - Harmonia
- Leonardo Tiozzo - Randon
- Valentina Truppa - Eremo del Castegno
The team reserve is Federica Scolari on Beldonwelt.
One more Italian rider was shortlisted by Conz for the team, Silvia Rizzo. She did not achieve the 3x 66% either. This show season the German based Rizzo was Italy's only rider who consistently competed at 4* and 5* dressage events in Western Europe. The other Italian riders have mainly opted for 3* dressage events in the south and east of Europe to obtain their qualification scores.
At the 2015 European Championships Laura Conz will be serving as chef d'equipe and Dr. Stefano Tassan as team veterinarian.
Photo © Astrid Appels
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