Italian Grand Prix dressage rider Silvia Rizzo has only recently returned from competing on the Florida show circuit and the flamboyant 36-year-old is now hopping a plane to show her globe-trotting black pearl, the Oldenburg stallion Donnerbube 2, at the prestigious invitation-only CDI 4* in Doha, Qatar. Rizzo and her powerful black stallion Donnerbube 2 (by Donnerhall x Pik Bube I) competed at some of the most high-profile shows in Florida of the season, including the World Dressage Masters CDI5* in Palm Beach as well as several CDI 3* events in West Palm Beach and Wellington. She rode her long-time partner “Bubi” to personal records to finish 18th on the 2013 Western European League World Cup Ranking and to climb 13 spots on the FEI World Dressage Riders Ranking. “Florida has been the most amazing experience,” Rizzo commented. “The show conditions were absolutely optimal with great footing, good stabling and nice weather conditions. The show atmosphere is very friendly there. I was able to fully focus on getting Bubi ready for each show. Because of a busy schedule of one show after another you need to concentrate on what to improve for the next test quickly and efficiently. It was a great mental challenge and a fantastic learning experience. I’m definitely going back next year.”
While Rizzo was wrapping up her Florida stay, she received a personal invitation to fly across the globe as one of an exclusive fifteen riders to compete at the 2013 CHI Al Shaqab in Doha.
“I can’t wait to make it to Doha,” said an enthusiastic Rizzo. "Donnerbube is like red wine, he only gets better with age. He feels fresh and fit, which is the mind-set I need for competition. He got a little break after Florida and is now all jazzed up for another show.”
While Rizzo made a splash in Florida, setting up new business opportunities for next year and enlarging her network of friends and clients, the Italian rider with the beach blonde hair and blue sunglasses also enlarged her ever-growing fan club.
“I had to do video interviews and sign autographs,” Silvia beamed. “That’s definitely a first for me,” she said humbly.
White Pearl Donna Silver Shines in Denmark
During the winter months Silvia’s second Grand Prix star, the white pearl Donna Silver, made her return to the public eye under Danish Daniel Bachmann. The 12-year-old Danish warmblood mare Donna Silver (by Don Schufro x Willemoes) was a Dutch Olympic team contender in 2012 but when Silvia jumped the puddle to stay in Florida in January 2013, she was also certain that the time was right for Donna Silver to move into the big time with Bachmann.
The up and coming Danish rider put the finishing touches on the grey mare, who has now matured into a completely confirmed high calibre Grand Prix horse. Bachmann reconnected with the sympathetic mare in no time and it was an easy task for him to bring Donna Silver’s world class talent to the surface. After a mere two weeks together the duo scored 72.270% in the Grand Prix and 74.653% in the Special at a national show in Hjallerup, Denmark. At the incredibly popular and highly visited 2013 Danish Warmblood Stallion Licensing in Herning begin March, the duo swept the Intermediaire II with 72.193%. In the Grand Prix they were the only combination that thrilled the crowds and made them clap on their final centerline. The performance earned them another winning score of 73.333%.
“I’m ecstatic that Donna Silver is finally proving to be the world class horse I always knew she was,” said Rizzo. “The Grand Prix movements are a piece of cake for her and she is now able to showing off her fantastic piaffe and passage with the greatest confidence, also in a competition setting. There is no limit to her potential and I’m incredibly excited to see her mature in a solid 70% scoring horse that can rival the best horses in the dressage world.”