The spectators went wild with delight when Lorenzo de Luca posted the first Italian victory of the weekend in the Franco Tucci Speed at Jumping Verona 2023 today.
Laying down an impossible target-time with a great ride on the 14-year-old gelding Violino Il Palazzetto at the halfway stage of the competition, the Belgium-based 36-year-old had to sit back and watch the rest trying to match his clear round in 58.96 seconds, but in the end they couldn’t even come close.
However there was even more for the home crowd to celebrate when fellow-Italian Giampiero Garofalo slotted into runner-up spot with the young mare Jorisco who broke the beam in 60.32 seconds, while the winning partnership from yesterday’s opening competition, Germany’s Kendra Claricia Brinkop and Ma Belle, finished third when clear in 60.47.
Course designer Uliano Vezzani set them a clever course that was well up to height, and only eight of the 53 starters left all the poles in place while there were two eliminations and four riders opted to retire. It was no walk-in-the-park. The three doubles on the 12-fence track proved highly influential.
«It was a proper 1.50m course and with the speed it was very delicate. There was a difficult double of verticals (6a/b) and there were some problems with the liverpools for some horses» de Luca explained. Violino didn’t turn a hair however, zipping around the track with such speed that it was always going to be tough to beat him. «He is fast, very fast, and he doesn’t waste any time in the air!», De Luca added.
He’s delighted to have added the horse to his string this year.
«Violino is 14 years old and was bred by Rori Marzotto, the Italian owner who has supported me from a long time ago. She gave him to me in April and we started to build up our partnership and it’s always been good. At every show he does a very good job, he’s very competitive so I’m very glad to have him!», he said.
In the picture, Lorenzo De Luca and Violino Il Palazzetto – ph. JV/Stefano Grasso