Sara Morganti delighted the home crowd after sweeping her events at Italy’s top Para equestrian competition Somma Lombardo held 14-15 June.
Riding Royal Delight, the reigning freestyle grade I world champion rode to victories in the team test, and individual and freestyle contests.
The competition drew riders from across Europe and included Austria’s Pepo Puch, who also won all three competitions in his grade II category, on his new ride, Sailor’s Blue.
The grade III spoils went to Canada’s Bert Sheffield, riding Bailaor. The pair were competing in grade III at a top international competition for the first time, having been reclassified from grade IV just weeks ago.
Sheffield said: “Making a winning grade III debut with my new ride, Bailaor, at a venue I had always wanted to compete at was very exciting. The week was a huge learning experience as so many changes have happened since last season.
“Bailaor is a once in a lifetime, fairytale horse. He’s been so well trained and, as our partnership grows I believe our marks will soar higher. I can’t wait to see what the future holds and I send a big thanks to Morgan Equine for finding him for me.”
There was double Russian joy in the grades IV and V contests, with Vladislav Kolosov* taking three wins in grade IV on Laurentio II, and Natalia Martynova* riding Zamperoni to sweep the grade V competitions.
As well as the glory of winning, the riders also earned crucial qualification scores ahead of this year’s Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Equestrian Games, in Tryon, North Carolina, USA, in September.
The next chance for riders to get those scores is at the British Festival of Dressage, held from 3-8 July in Hartpury, Great Britain.
*Editor's note: The International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August 2016 for its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory). As a result of the suspension, Russian athletes cannot enter IPC sanctioned events or competitions, including the Paralympic Games. For further information please click here.