In the saddle for the General
The 24th edition of the Italian Masters Church Memorial starts on Thursday. There will be four days of events of the highest level, from December 3 to 6, in memory of General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa and his wife Emanuela Setti Carraro, who were murdered by the mafia along with the agent Domenico Russo, on September 3, 1982 in Palermo.It is coming close to five decades of this manifestation that in early December brings together the stars of the show jumping at the facilities of the Gese of San Lazzaro riding club, near Bologna. The Gese has been the ‘home’ of the Memorial since its first edition in 1992, commissioned by the Setti Carraro Dalla Chiesa Foundation and realized through the efforts of Alessandro Zanini Mariani, Andrea Monti Riffeser, Lucio Guastaroba and Mauro Checcoli.San Lazzaro has been the stage of national and international show jumping, full, dressage, but also American and Paralympic riding for three decades. Especially in this last sector, thanks to the Aiasport Onlus team, the Gese is able to accommodate 140 riders with disabilities with their families every year. If the walls of the stables could talk they would tell countless stories of men and horses. However, the Memorial is a bit special. There are the elements that contain to make it so: the heroic figure of the general dalla Chiesa, the great love for his young wife, broken by the death that befalls them tragically less than two months after the wedding, the solidarity, the Foundation for the treatment of chronic diseases in infants.And then of course there is the sporting challenge at the highest level. The quality is guaranteed by the prestige of the riders and a course designer of great stature such as Frederic Cottier. Born in 1954, in September, Cottier designed the CSI Bagnaia and last year put the signature on all the courses at the World Championship in Caen. The French course-designer usually spares no technical difficulties for the riders, but always with an eye for the safety of the horses: Sensitivity and attention that probably derived from extensive experience in the saddle. In his glorious career Cottier, in fact, boasts Olympic medals, world and European championships and three editions of the Grand Prix of Rome Piazza di Siena, won the early eighties all riding the legendary Flambeau C.
Taking part over the courses designed by Cottier, with the assistance of Fulvio Santi, will be many top Italian riders. Beginning with the defending champion, Filippo Moyersoen, riding Canada, the mare which he won with last year, will try to set a record of success in the competition. The Lombardy champion, has in fact also won the first two editions of the program, in 1992 and ’93, and has equaled the three successes of Arnaldo Bologni, first in 2006, 2008 and 2009. For his part, he will do everything possible to win the Grand Prix on Sunday to become record holder of victories. Meanwhile having won two editions, but ready to grab the third, are Natale Chiaudani, Mirco Casadei and, for the colors of the Armed Forces, Bruno Chimirri.Also representing the Armed Forces will be Filippo Bologni, Massimo Grossato e Giuseppe Talamo while the Police Force will count on Vincenzo Chimirri, David Sbardella and Federico Ciriesi. The Forestry Police have Filippo Codecasa and there are big names in Gianni Govoni, Juan Carlos Garcia, Alberto Cocconi, Andrea Riffeser Monti – the only non-professional -, Andres Penalosa, Enrico Frana, Fabio Magni, Andrea Messersì are set to complete list. Women riders include Francesca Ciriesi, Alessia Marioni and Elisa Baldazzi.The riders will contest a total prize money raised this year to 50,000.00 euro. An adjustment in height was also decided for the Grand Prix, which will come up to meter and a half high in the base path and up 1.60 meters. Back by popular demand is the “ Italian Indoor Masters – Small Tour“. Since 2012, this circuit has been named after Ettore Maurizzi, the patron of Pegus and great friend of Gese who passed away on October 1 2011. His son Omer will present the award to the winners of this category, which will be held on Friday afternoon.The first day of competition on Thursday, will start at 13.30 with the opening round of the Italy Masters, a 1.35m timed event (Monrif Net prize, prize 1,500.00 Euros). Following that is the Bank of Bologna, the 140 class in two phases (prize 4,000.00 Euros) that will award the first qualifier for the Grand Prix on Sunday. The other GP qualifier will be on Friday with the Horse Magazine award, a 140-timed event with prize money of 4,000.00 euros.
The 24th edition of the Masters will not only be at the highest sporting level but also a civic event reflected by the programmes around it with local schools and the San Lazzaro Council linked to the anti-mafia. Writer and director Alessandro Gallo’s play “A matter of a moment” will play at the ITC Theatre in San Lazzaro on Friday in front of the students of the Mattei Schools and other citizens.Photo: Philip Moyersoen and Canada, in the lap of honor after winning the Grand Prix in 2014 Antonella Montalti
Memorial dalla Chiesa Press Release