Silvia Rizzo Achieves Her Goal for 2014, Silver at 2014 European Lusitano Championships

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 11:31
Lusitano Breeding News

After declining to be considered for the team as Italian short listed rider for the 2014 World Equestrian Games, German based Silvia Rizzo set a personal goal for 2014 and achieved it when the silver medal was hung round her neck at the 2014 European Championships for Lusitano Horses in Gesves, Belgium, on 12 - 14 September 2014.

"The World Equestrian Games were too early for us. I've been riding Sal not even a year and I carefully want to build a partnership," Silvia explained. "He's experienced but I need to find the buttons on him. Riding a Lusitano is very different from a big warmblood stallion. Sal is so naturally gifted in piaffe and passage and it comes almost effortlessly. The rhythm in canter feels very differently, but I'm absolutely loving my Portuguese super star. Sal really gives his heart to me and tries to understand and work with me."

By setting a more realistic goal for herself -- a medal at the 2014 European Lusitano Championship at Grand Prix level -- Rizzo has kept perspective on her current competition level and rewarded herself with great success on the Lusitano scene.

"I was totally amazed by the large crowds and tons of horses at the European Lusitano Championships," she said. "Hundreds of horses competed there in breed classes, working equitation as well as dressage. The owners and breeders are so incredibly dedicated to the Lusitano horse and they were very interested to find out more about Sal."

Assessed by international FEI judges such as Mariette Withages, Carlos Lopes, and Jean Pierre Tuloup in the Grand Prix and Kur to Music, Rizzo and Sal (by Mississipe x Golega) concluded their 2014 summer show season with individual silver.

"The silver was a real boost for my confidence and I felt encouraged in my efforts," said Rizzo. "Sal will now get a well deserved rest and then I'll slowly pick up training in preparation of the 2015 Dressage in Florida show season in Wellington. I want to use these autumn months to build on our partnership."

Silvia will be returning to Florida for her third, consecutive year in December. She praises the Sunshine State for its ideal climate, fantastic show conditions and friendly atmosphere which provides good support also for non-professional dressage riders with high ambitions.

"Both Sal and I are quite the character. We are both 'special' in our own way and I feel that we really glue and get on the same wavelength in Florida," said Silvia. "Sal is a horse with a huge heart and a big personality, like most Lusitanos are. He is real distinguished gentlemen. I want to be the right partner for him so we can truly be a special couple."

While Sal has certainly stirred a love for the Iberian horse in Silvia, the 38-year old Italian also has two young warmblood irons in the fire coming along: the 3-year old Oldenburg gelding Donnerbaldo (by Donnerbube x Fremir AA) and the 3-year old Westfalian mare Blickfang (by Belissimo M x Furst Piccolo). Both youngsters were saddle broken in The Netherlands two months ago and are carefully and slowly being trained in preparation of their first show experiences in 2015.

Photos © Charly Goffinet

Related Links
Silvia Rizzo Acquires Full Ownership of Lusitano Grand Prix Horse Sal
Silvia Rizzo Starts New Chapter in Career with Sal at 2014 Dressage in Florida
Silvia Rizzo and Michele Betti Travel to Florida to Compete While Offering Training, Lessons and Clinics
Silvia Rizzo and New Partner Sal Take On Wellington