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Italy wins Longines EEF Nations Cup in Athens

5 June 2022

Italy has won the Longines EEF Nations Cup in Athens held today, Sunday June 5th. The team (chef d’equipe Marco Porro) formed by Omar Bonomelli/Chippendel de la Tour (0/0), Emilio Bicocchi/Delirio delle Sementarecce (0/4), Paolo Paini/Japonica di Ca’ San Giorgio (8/4) and Bruno Chimirri/Samara (0/DNS) finished the two rounds on a total of 8 faults, winning without the fourth member of the team, Bruno Chimirri riding Samara, having to jump in the second round. Greece finished second on 16 faults with Romania third on 17 faults and Bulgaria on 36.
Leading after the first round on zero faults, Italy fielded three 8-year-old horses making their Nations Cup debut ridden by expert riders: Delirio delle Sementarecce, Japonica di Ca’ San Giorgio and Samara. All three horses were born and bred in Italy and are registered in the MIPAAF stud book.  This once again emphasises the objectives of this series in forming the ‘next generation’ not only as far as riders are concerned but horses too, giving them a chance to gain experience and develop so as to later compete at the sport’s highest levels.
The riders competing today included Bulgaria’s Ivana Angelova who just recently turned 17 in February, and is currently the youngest rider to have competed in a Longines EEF Nations Cup.
Just like last year, the chef de piste at the Olympic Equestrian Centre of Markopoulo was Italy’s Elio Travagliati, who in 2021 also built the courses for the Longines EEF Series Final 2021 in Warsaw won by the Italian team. There were only two double clears today, both by horse and rider combinations that had performed brilliantly in Friday’s Grand Prix at the Athens CSIO3*, Italy’s Omar Bonomelli riding Chippendel de la Tour (third in the GP) and the Greek rider Angelos Touloupis riding Lord Mexx (winner of the GP).
Italian Chef d’Equipe, Marco Porro: “We are happy about this win. This is my first year as Italy’s chef d’équipe having accompanied the second division team last year. We are rebuilding the team with young horses and riders and today we fielded three 8-year-old horses all bred in Italy. So we’re starting over from here, from Athens, so as to gain points and our next shows will be in Gorla, Budapest and Warsaw where we won the final last year.
Emilio Bicocchi: “Italy has a tradition in winning the Nations Cup in Greece and in Athens. I have ridden in many Nations Cups here and was also here for the 2004 Olympics. Today was a big win for Italy. We are very happy with the way our young horses jumped today. they did a really good job”.
Paolo Paini: “The Athens CSIO3*-W is a beautiful show and the Longines EEF Series is a very good idea”.
Omar Bonomelli: “This venue is a really nice place for a show and we enjoyed today’s win. It wasn’t easy and it never is easy to win, even though our last rider, Bruno Chimirri, didn’t have to start in the 2nd round!”