There are no John Waynes, no shoot-outs, no cowboys with cigarettes dangling from their lips... but eleven athletes whose dream is to compete in the Olympics. It is pure dressage... but with a Yankee touch.
Hall 12- the Elementa Stables event starts off from Rome to bring an impressive programme of events to Verona (with the Elementa Master Première in the foreground a prize fund of $ 300,000). The parareining competition is a clear demonstration of strength and determination. "Eleven horses and riders are taking part, even from England and France. And Paolo Pettena, a blind athlete, came to the fore," said Alessandro Pavoni, the Fise manager of this discipline. And he is delighted. "The first parareining competition in Italy took place one year ago, with the Italian Championship during Futurity and Cremona will host the second edition again in a few weeks with almost double the number of participants, reaching the final after passing regional heats." A discipline that has found its way forward. "We started late compared to other countries but there we are determined to grow quickly. Based on levels of difficulty, there are five categories for people with physical and three for those with cognitive disabilities. They are required to perform figures with horses stepping, trotting or galloping." Who wins? Assessments include fluency and control and penalties then come into play. One exercise in the programme is the sliding stop: at a certain point during the competition, the horse blocks its hind quarters and continues to slide on the front legs. A challenging exercise but reining horses have a naturally inclination for this type of activity. Agile as regards lateral movements and capable of staying in the midst of the herd, they were used to manage livestock."
Hall 12 will also host a freestyle competition with Gina Schumacher performing a set dedicated to Ferrari and Gennaro Lenti, the super award-winning rider who coached Sylvester Stallone in the last episode dedicated to Rambo.