Let me introduce myself and the reason for a website dedicated to Italian Horse Racing. As a young man in the seventies and eighties with a big interest in racing everybody was aware of the story of the great Ribot universally at the time considered the greatest horse in the history of the sport.The daily English racing papers The Sporting Life and Sporting Chronicle as well as The Irish Field had Italian correspondents bringing news of the Happenings from Capannelle and San Siro. In the months and hopefully years ahead we will be trying to show our readers that Italian racing had dominated the European scene from the mid thirties to the mid sixties or if you like from Nearco to Prince Royal, but in these decades had, it appeared gone into a temporary blip.
Of course we know now that it wasn’t temporary at all but that horses such as Bolkonski,Orange Bay and the great enigma Sirlad were exceptions to a continuing malaise.Certainly since then Italy has produced champions such as Falbrav,Ramonti and Rakti to name but three but nothing compared to the middle of the last century.With this decline has come disinterest in the specialist press and a lack of news coming from the country to breeders who sell their horses to Italy. A remarkable statistic from 2020 shows that almost 45% of the 600+ two year olds who ran in Italy in 2020 carried an IRE after its name.Big names such as Tally Ho,Kildaragh and Ringfort are prominent in these statistics but what is most interesting is that the small to medium sized breeders are the ones supplying the bulk of these horses to what remains a key Irish market.
Italian Jockeys on the other hand have remained World class led by the inimitable Frankie Dettori but with admirable help from the Demuro brothers Mirco and Christian,Umberto Rispoli and many others are recognized World leaders on the track.In breeding and training as well there are many top class professionals leading an industry fighting for its very survival and let us not forget the most important jump racing scene in the World outside Ireland,Britain and France which plays a hugely important role in keeping the sport going in not only Italy but also Germany,Slovakia and the Czech republic with its much higher prize money.
Of less interest perhaps to some in the English speaking world is trotting where Italy is a major world player.Trainer\Driver Alessandro Gocciadoro’s winnings in 2020 were higher than Aidan O Brien in Ireland.The sensational excitement of Palio racing in medieval Italian cities reaches its peak in Siena twice in the summer and stops the nation.
Horse racing in Italy is as diverse as the magnificent country itself. We feel that these stories deserve to be brought to an English speaking audience and we hope everybody who visits the site will enjoy our modest efforts to bring its passion,excitement and hopes of a return to its glorious past to a new audience.