It was first blood for Italy at CSIO Rome Piazza di Siena today when Emanuele Gaudiano (32) galloped home to win the Safe Riding Small Tour Speed competition at the Gallopatoio.
This sand arena is located near the stables and close to the entrance to the Villa Borghese public park, and 33 horse-and-rider combinations lined up for the run against the clock.
Ireland’s Peter Moloney was first to go and set a strong target with the lovely Team Harmony mare Ghana when breaking the beam in 60.37 seconds, but fellow-countryman Cian O’Connor (39) overtook him with a great ride on Baronescha who stopped the clock on 60.15.
Gaudiano was next to go and, seeing O’Connor’s run, knew what he had to do. “Cian was fast, so I just had to be faster!” he explained, and posting a time of 58.13 he went way out into the lead with the handsome grey 10-year-old, Einstein.
Only his young compatriot, Filippo Marco Bologni, threatened in the closing stages, throwing down a time of 59.11 seconds with a daredevil ride on the brace Sedik Milano Quidich de la Cha to slot into runner-up spot and push O’Connor down to third.
“I’ve had Einstein since he was a six-year-old and he’s a very good horse, always consistent” Gaudiano said.