Lots of clapping and emotion for home-driver Luca Cassottana, the only Italian competing at this World Championships in the Pratoni del Vivaro.
"What an incredible feeling. We fought to be here and I'm absolutely delightetd," commented the 42-year-old from Piedmont, his voice broken by emotion, after completing the dressage test on 58.24 negative points.
"My horses were fine. The score could have been better but there were some avoidable mistakes, caused by the left leader, which was a bit nervous. He missed the walk and wasn't as steady in the halt. Let's say that we pushed a bit harder before the competition and so Ivar was a bit stressed. However, I am quite satisfied, I think the score is correct even if it’s not my 'personal best': in the 3* in Platernica, in June, I scored 52.04. Now the marathon awaits us. It’s a beautiful and choreographic course but above all very technical, in which we will have to be very careful".
Bram Chardon, the Dutch driver who has been training Cassottana for a year and a half was very close to him even before Cassottana entered the arena.
"When I told him that I wanted to qualify for the World Championships, he expressed his scepticism, due to the short time available. He even teased me. After a while, however, he started to reconsider and then he started to believe in it too".