Mother and Daughter Campanella Get Silver and Gold at 2016 Italian Dressage Championships

Thu, 10/06/2016 - 11:24
2016 Italian Dressage Championships

Italian Grand Prix rider Anna Paprocka-Campanella and her daughter Alice Campanella were on a medal winning streak at the 2016 Italian Dressage Championships held at the Paradiso Sporting Club in Caselle di Sommacampagna on 29 September - 2 October 2016. While Anna earned silver at Grand Prix level, Alice won double gold in the Under 25 division.

The 16-year old Alice Campanella has moved from pony level to Under 25 Grand Prix level in record speed. She rode her first European Pony Championships at age 12 in 2012 and contested her first European Junior Championships at age 14 in 2014. In 2016 she did double duty riding De Miro at international junior rider's level and Stallone at national Under 25 Grand Prix level. After the 2016 European Junior Riders Championships in Spain De Miro was sold and young Alice continued to focus on the 17-year old Ukrainian owned Grand Prix schoolmaster Stallone (by Lancet).

Alice' and Stallone's new partnership has paid off as the duo won double gold at the 2016 Italian Under 25 Championships. They ruled the technical leg of the Championship, the Intermediaire II and Short Grand Prix, with 68.132% and 68.767%, and won the Kur to Music with 70.150% to earn two gold medals at their first U25 Championship.

"I have been riding Stallone since the beginning of the year after we contacted Inna Logutenkova at the 2015 CDI Roosendaal Indoor, where I competed De Miro. A few months later I got the ride on him," Alice told Eurodressage. "I had a very good feeling in the tests at the Championship. I was very well prepared as I did four shows in Holland before. I knew he would help me in the tests. The past few months I improved on my technique and the accurancy of riding the difficult movements such as the pirouettes and piaffe-passage transitions. We've become a real partnership."

After a three year hiatus from international Grand Prix competition, Alice' mom Anna Paprocka-Campanella is back in the big time with a new top horse, Loreley. The 13-year old Westfalian mare (by Larenco x Polydor) gives Polish born Anna perspective on team selection for next year's continental Championships. At the 2016 Italian Nationals they confirmed that promise by winning the silver medal in the technical leg of the Championships. They were 4th in the Grand Prix (65.200%) and second in the Special (66.471%).

The 41-year old Paprocka-Campanella has only been riding Lorely for six weeks, but the rider is extremely excited about the mare's potential.

"I was looking for horses for a client and when I saw Loreley I thought she was made for me: very big, standing at 176 cm, very hot, but with an extremely good character," Anna explained. "The Nationals were only my second show on her, so I still need to get to know her better and she has to understand my way of riding better. She always wants to overdo each exercise."

Although an experienced member of the Italian team at the 2007 and 2009 European Dressage Championships, Anna is now riding her first international calibre Grand Prix horse that is a mare.

"I never rode mares. This is the first time and I can say that a good mare can be better than a gelding or a stallion," said Anna, who is also the riders' representative on the FEI Dressage Committee. "She is special because I can feel endless potential. My trainer Kebie van der Heijden helped us a lot to create a good partnership in such a short time."

Anna and Alice are eagerly looking forward to the 2017 show season and for the winter they have planned on competing at the 2016 indoor CDI's in Le Mans and Roosendaal.  Alice will be showing Stallone as well as a new ride, the KWPN licensed stallion Chin Chan (by Samba Hit), to which a pending sponsorship with the prestigious JK Horse trucks is attached.

"We are very grateful and happy to have Vian Stallone," said Anna. "He is 17 years old now, so we wanted to use this opportunity for Alice to make the step to Grand Prix level. Riding Grand Prix is a dream of nearly all riders, so we just used that chance. I am happy that hr scores, both in Holland and in Italy, confirm her good level of preparation. She is still at pony age and has always scored above 68% with him. Alice will compete Chin Chan next year as well, so the choice in division for her summer Championships will be made in the spring."

Anna and Alice recently relocated from Italy to Erp, The Netherlands, where Paprocka-Campanella runs a dressage sales and training facility. Alice attends high school in The Netherlands.

"We are very happy with our decision to move to Holland," said Anna. "Here we found a top team of professionals (vets, farrier, trainers) that  have become real friends. We actually get more support and help here in Holland than in Italy."

Photos © Marco Racca

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