David Will won the top competition of the CSIO Piazza di Siena in Rome with C Vier 2A, achieving the most important success of his career at the age of 33 and bringing the trophy back to Germany nine years after Ludger Beerbaum’s victory.
With David Will Germany now has eleven victories in the Roman Grand Prix, achieved with ten different riders, since Franke Sloothaak succeeded in 1995 and 1996.
Notes on the spot
David Will made the following statement at the press conference:
I am very lucky to have this horse. He still belongs to the breeder and his daughter, Janine Rijkens, who rode him up to four-star competitions. Then she stopped competing and her father contacted me. And here we are! As for his performance at Piazza di Siena, I knew he was in great shape, he’s a special horse and he also jumped superbly in the Nations Cup. I knew that we would have a chance to place today, but I wasn’t hoping for victory. It’s hard to say what it feels like when things come together perfectly and you get results in the end”.
David Will was then asked if today’s win in the Rolex Gran Premio Roma could help to get his pass for the Tokyo Olympic Games. David Will answered:
For me winning today’s Grand Prix was a bit of a mirage, but this horse is still one of the best around, so you never know, I’ll stick to my programme and see what the future holds!”.
The exiting second round
Thirteen of the fifty riders made it through to the second round. Of these only five obtained a clear run in the first round and only three were able to repeat it. David Will was the fastest rider with C Vier 2 (42.34). A big round of applause also goes to the two Amazons of the US team: Laura Kraut was second with Baloutinue (44.76), followed by Jessica Springsteen with Don Juan van de Donkhoeve (45.15).
Italia Polo Challenge
Piazza di Siena this year also hosted a round of the prestigious Italia Polo Challange, which saw the victory of the KEP Italia/Safe Riding team.
This year’s circuit has already been staged on the snow in Cortina d’Ampezzo and the next stage after Rome is scheduled in Porto Cervo, from 21 to 25 July, again with the patronage and collaboration of the Italian Equestrian Sports Federation (FISE) and the International Polo Federation (FIP).
Driven by Patricio Rattagan, the best scorer of the match and the best goalscorer of the quadrangular played at the Galoppatoio di Villa Borghese during the 88th CSIO of Rome, in the final KEP Italia/Safe Riding defeated Battistoni/Waldorf Astoria Cavalieri 9-4.
Once again, Piazza di Siena offered us wonderful emotions. We look forward to meeting all equestrian sports fans in Cannes for the Longines Global Champions Tour.
By Denisa Kucik
Featured Image: © Simone Ferraro – Courtesy Equi-Equipe