Some of the most important pages of equestrian sport, and Eventing in particular, have been written at the Pratoni del Vivaro.
All the greatest riders have competed at least once at this equestrian centre, the only one in the world that has hosted the Olympic Games as well as the World and European Eventing Championships.
The importance as well as the charm of the Pratoni del Vivaro is clearly expressed in the words of some of these athletes.
Andrew Hoy, 63, won team silver and individual bronze at the Tokyo Olympics and hopes to compete for Australia at Pratoni at the World Championships. He has been a member of the Australian team for 44 years and has won three Olympic team gold medals, in 1992, 1996 and 2000: "Pratoni is a historic venue and in 1960 the Australian team won an Olympic team gold and individual gold and silver medals, so to be back on territory where Australia has had such a historic result and one that the world knows about is very special and I feel very honoured as an athlete to be competing there."
Andrew Nicholson, 60, is a former world number one and won team gold for New Zealand at the 1990 FEI World Equestrian Games™, team and individual bronze in Kentucky in 2010, plus three Olympic medals and nine CCI5*s. He competed at Pratoni at the Open European Championships in 2005 and at the World Games in 1998, finishing fifth individually. He retired from top-level competition last year and acts as coach to the Swiss team: ''My favourite memories of Pratoni del Vivaro are from the World Games in 1998. I rode a horse called New York and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it's one of the best places for a World Championships that I have been to. The ground is superb for horses; it's very natural, undulating terrain, which has a lot of character and is challenging to ride. The spectators can see a lot, which is important, and it's a great day out for everyone.
Susanna Bordone at the Tokyo Olympic Games rode Imperial van de Holtakkers, finishing 18th in the individual ranking. The 40-year-old Carabinieri’s warrant officer has once again chosen the 14-year-old gelding has her partner for the FEI World Championships 2022 that will be held at the Pratoni del Vivaro on September 15-18. “My goal this season is obviously to compete in the World Championships at the Pratoni, a unique location for our discipline. After the Olympics I gave to Imperial a nice long holiday and have recently only competed with him in dressage competitions since for him that is the most challenging test. Over the Easter weekend, April 14-17, we will be eventing in Radolfzell, in Germany and then later compete in the May test event at the Pratoni. At the end of June we will be in Strzegom, if competitions in Poland are held regularly, and then finally in mid-August at Le Pin au Haras, in France.”
Andrew Hoy - ph. MAV Photo Agency
Andrew Nicholson -ph. MAV Photo Agency
Susanna Bordone riding Imperial van de Holtakkers at Tokyo 2020 - ph. FISE/S.Grasso