Florida Snowbird Silvia Rizzo Sets New Goals and Partnerships for 2015

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 10:28
Italian Dressage News

With the turn of the year Italian Grand Prix rider Silvia Rizzo has made some New Year resolutions and plans for the 2015 show season. Recently taking up training with Sal's former rider Nuno Palma e Santos, Rizzo aims to achieve a new level aboard her Lusitano stallion. She will return to the show ring in the late spring after snowbirding in Florida.

"I'm always eager to learn and try new things. I have worked hard on getting to know Sal the past year at home and in the show ring," Rizzo explained. "I feel I can improve myself and my horse even more with the help of Nuno, who has known and ridden Sal for years. I'm commuting to his stable near Hamburg on a regular basis to fine-tune my riding. Hopefully the judges will soon reward what I have learnt."

Rizzo's one-year partnership with the Lusitano stallion Sal (by Mississipi x Golega) began in January 2014 in Florida, where the pair got acquainted with each other in training and competition by mixing low-key national starts with several more prolific international shows in Wellington. The combination grew month by month and upon their return to Europe achieved a personal best score at their most favourite show of the year, the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Great Britain. The icing on the cake came when the sympathetic duo won silver at the 2014 European Championships for Lusitano Horses in Belgium.

On 9 January 2015 Rizzo will be returning to Florida for her third, consecutive year but she has decided not to take her licensed stallion Sal with her. According to Silvia it was a tough decision as she loves competing in Florida but the welfare and overall well-being of her horse comes first.

"This year the Global Dressage Festival could not provide ideal quarantine conditions for stallions on the show grounds in Wellington," Rizzo explained. "I really regret not being able to take my horse with me, but they designated tent stalls as fixed quarantine space and I'm not keen on stabling my horse in a tent for three months. Last year the quarantined horses had nice permanent boxes with plenty of room. It is a very expensive investment to fly to Florida and have mandatory boarding of a stallion on the show grounds. You have no other option due to the quarantine and it didn't make sense this year to pay for a pricey stall in a tent."

Although Sal is staying in Germany with Nuno, Silvia will still embark on a two-month trip to sunny Florida on a busy schedule as brand ambassador for her sponsors. Rizzo's partner, the international eventing and show jumping trainer Michele Betti, has been booked as coach and clinician in January and February.

"I have a filled programme in Florida and Michele will be busy teaching riders from all disciplines. Also, as an Italian I just can't stand the cold in Germany," she joked. "I really want to get some sunshine during the winter. The climate in Florida and the equestrian world are fantastic and I wouldn't want to miss it. I'm very grateful to all my sponsors for their support as they enable me to continue this wonderful journey."

Rizzo boasts a long list of sponsors who have been loyal to her throughout the years: Accademia Italiana, Stivaleria Secchiari, Champion, Performance Imports, Kep Italia, Selleria Pariani, Wellington Dressage boots, MDC Stirrups, SSG gloves, Bondbers.com, and Judi Manche.

Rizzo's famous, colourful and stylish Accademia Italiana riding breeches can now be purchased online via Silvia's website or by emailing her at info@hofmarabunta.com

Photos © Astrid Appels

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