Sabrina Ibanez, Secretary General of the FEI and her manager Frederique Reffet Plantier
The second week of the world championships of Driving at Rocca di Papa - Pratoni del Vivaro brought us many surprises, the first of which was the beauty of the Four in Hand, that is the carriage with four horses.
In Italy, this sport takes its name from the fact that horses are hitched to carriages, but the English name is much more evocative: Four in Hand.
In fact, each carriage driver must control four reins, two for the left horses and two for the right horses, while behind him/her are two grooms who sit in special seats balancing and helping in emergencies.
As for eventing, the Four in Hand competition takes place over three tests: dressage, marathon in the country and the precision of a path between the cones.
But in reality, everything changes.
The athletes and the public seem to come straight out of history, and horses change not only in morphology but also in the way in which they relate to each other.
However, we can say that in the Driving competitions individualism is lost and an incredible team game emerges - everyone must move in resonance and harmony.
And we were captivated by so much elegance!
The clothes of the drivers and carriages recall the past and the style of the team country. I personally admired Mareike Harm's hat, a touch of grace in a woman capable of keeping up with the power of 4 huge horses and ending 5th in the individual ranking.
Nicola Boscarelli, vice president of FISE
The winner of the individual competition was the Australian Boyd Exell, who made his final route in pouring rain as only the Pratoni del Vivaro can experience, while the Netherlands took the team victory.
Our Horse Museum interview corner was a great success again this week. We had the pleasure and honor of interviewing the Italian champion Luca Cassottana and Nicola Boscarelli, vice president of FISE who enjoyed listening to some of the interviewees' stories.
The Horse Museum living room turned out to be a magical place where people told us how their love for these beautiful animals was born. Among the people to remember Giglio Gigli, who immediately became our favorite actor, an 86-year-old elderly gentleman who in his life as a stunt man confessed to us that he was the stunt double for the great Sofia Loren who fell from a horse!
The actor Giglio Gigli stunt double of Sofia Loren
We regret not being able to conclude the interview with the very kind Gergo Rakoczi, champion of Romania, due to problems with the lights of our stand, but we will make up for it. The story of when as a child he rode on horseback in the woods with his father to reach his grandfather won us over.
The beauty of this Horse Museum Corner was precisely that of discovering the human face of people, champions and all operators. With us, the tension of competition diminished, and everybody returned to the essence of this sport, which is the love that unites people with horses.
Gergo Rakoczi, champion of Romania
This is also the summary of the words of Sabrina Ibanez, Secretary General of the FEI, who came to visit us together with her manager Frederique Reffet Plantier. The FEI has visited us three times and found our corner a surprise and a new way to communicate culture (and lifestyle) around important sporting events.
It goes without saying that the Love at First Sight exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Paard Verzameld gallery in Amsterdam, was the flagship of the whole event and we will be able to draw up a ranking of the paintings that most touched the public.
And now we await the surprise of the German visual artist Hagen Kalberer of Equihero who will send us one of his works together with a frame that he bought in these days at the Rocca di Papa flea market, a story that we can't wait to tell.
And the world of photographs is still to be explored in its nuances of lifestyle, such as those beautiful photographs by Massimo Argenziano, who lives in Rocca di Papa, and by Chiara Castellini.
We think it will be our next cultural adventure!
Agriculture and horses also proved successful in consolidating the relationship with Coldiretti (an Italian association of farmers), of which we are part with Donna Vittori di Paliano agricultural company. David Granieri, president of Coldiretti Lazio, and Stefano Leporati, secretary of young farmers, came to visit us.
Donna Vittori today is a horse-themed farmhouse, thanks to the collaboration with Horse Museum, but wait two years for our first bottles of Cesanese del Piglio DOCG with labels that recall horses, and you will have exciting surprises!