This year the Italian leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ series celebrates its 15th edition in the beautiful Italian city, best known for the its links to Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The four-day show is once again staged in conjunction with the world-famous equine extravaganza, the Fieracavalli, which draws huge crowds from all across the globe every year.
And such is the popularity of the Jumping event which begins on Thursday 5 November and concludes with the fourth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Western European League on Sunday 8 November, that the organisers are adding 1,000 more seats in the exhibition hall where the action takes place. Spectators will be admitted free of charge on Thursday, when the CSI 2-Star begins, and again on Friday when the 5-Star action gets underway.
The sport of indoor showjumping is an exacting science, requiring absolute accuracy and precision from the rider and total commitment from the horse. Since the FEI World Cup indoor series began back in 1978 it has produced many legendary horse-and-rider partnerships and it was Irish hero, Eddie Macken, who topped the line-up at in the inaugural Italian event staged in Milan back in 1983. Since then a myriad of other talents have placed their names on the Italian stage roll of honour, including the much-loved Whitaker brothers, Michael and John, representing Great Britain and the only man to ever win the World Cup title on three consecutive occasions, Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa, who is also the only rider to complete a hat-trick with the same horse - the super-stallion Baloubet du Rouet.
Former Olympic and reigning World and European champion, Jeroen Dubbeldam from The Netherlands, put his name on the trophy in 2010. And the hottest ticket in the sport right now, Ireland’s Bertram Allen who was only 19 years old at the time, was last year’s winner in Verona with the lovely grey mare, Molly Malone.
This super-talented young man wasn’t even born when his fellow-countryman won that first Italian leg of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping series 22 years ago. Since then the competition has visited Birago in 1984 and then Bologna from 1995 to 2000 before finding its long-time home in Verona.
The fixture always attracts the big names, and this year is no exception, with the reigning Olympic and Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, already signed up for his starting spot. Also on the startlist is 2008 Olympic individual gold medallist Eric Lamaze from Canada who is one of the most determined and competitive riders on the international circuit.
The Selleria Equipe will be the highlight of Saturday’s programme at Jumping Verona but the excitement can be expected to be at fever-pitch when the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping, presented by Fixdesign, brings the show to a thrilling conclusion on Sunday afternoon.
Shakespeare’s Juliet asked “what’s in a name?” - when it comes to Jumping Verona, the answer is top-quality sport and tremendous excitement!
For more information visit www.jumpingverona.it