A new exciting appointment with the world’s best equestrian coaches
No better opening for this new series of interviews than featuring the person who has made it possible to reach sportive goals I would have never dreamt off. He taught me that in this sport you should never take anything for granted and that after the most painful defeats there will always be great payback. Just be willing to get back into the game with so massive dedication and with a smile on your face. A heartfelt thanks to Giuseppe D’Onofrio.
Giuseppe D’Onofrio is among the best Italian horsemen and fulfils the role of riders representative in the national equestrian federation, the FISE. As a protagonist of the worlds’ most prestigious courses, including Aachen, Calgary and Piazza di Siena, in 2007 he placed himself as the first Italian rider in the Global Champions Tour. Together with teammates Piergiorgio Bucci, Natale Chiaudani and Juan Carlos Garcia, Giuseppe D’Onofrio was able to make Italy dream again, gifting his home country with the silver medal for teams at the 2009 Windsor European Championships. Shortly before he won the Dublin Nations Cup, the last leg of what was then called Meydan FEI Nations Cup.
Rider of great skill and experience, known for his impeccable style and unquestionable technique, Giuseppe d’Onofrio is also one of the most sought after coaches in Italy. In the equestrian centre La Pinetina of Limido Comasco and during the multiple stages scheduled in the national territory, he transmits to its students his philosophy of being a gentleman, according to which the results arrive if you mount well and in full respect of the horse.
In fact, in full respect of that philosophy, last season saw his students – accompanied by the team leader of the Children, Junior and Young Rider teams, Stefano Scaccabarozzi – successfully conclude the CSIO circuit dedicated to young riders: the CSIO in the Equieffe facilities in Gorla, the traditional CSIO in Lamprechtshausen in Austria and the CSIO CH / J / YR / P in Hagen in Germany.
Can you reveal some of the tips you have given to your students before the competition?
With my students I usually walk the course calmly and if we have time we look at some of their opponents’ rounds in order to have further confirmation of the strategy adopted. I religiously repeat them to ride well and with awareness and in the eventual difficulty to keep calm and to find the solution in the basics on which they have worked at home. Breathing is important so I always recommend taking a deep breath before the bell sounds and set off with focus.
After being the protagonist of the world’s most prestigious circuits, what do you feel today when seeing your young talents defending the Italian flag?
Seeing them in the field in that kind of competition makes me feel very lucky to be able to transfer my knowledge and competence. I know that these experiences remain in our memory forever and I am happy for them.
What did you feel to convey to them after the experience of the Italian Championships?
I hope my students get a good lesson from the experience of the Italian championships and realize that only by maintaining concentration and putting into practice what we do during home training they may achieve good results.
What are your programs for this season?
The season will see me engaged in multiple stages throughout Italy. I really enjoy teaching anyone who wants to learn how to ride well regardless of age and the level of show jumping they want to do. I’m often told having the ability to instruct people as if they were to do the world cup, despite being often passionate amateur riders. Such observations fill me with joy and seeing the improvements in horses and riders makes me feel proud and satisfied.
For those who might be interested, my next stage will be at Montecatini Terme in beautiful Tuscany on October 12th and 13th at the equestrian centre centro ippico Antiche Scuderie.
And what about the next goals you have set?
My students follow a path that prepares them for the maximum of the competition. That said, obviously it will always be the form of horses and riders that will allow them to stay on top in their categories. I therefore hope to bring back as many of them to the 2020 European Championships.
The horse of a lifetime?
The horses that gave me the most satisfaction are related to the sporting results so I mention Landzeus and Lagerfeld with great affection, but many others have made me proud even if in smaller competitions. I am fond of all the horses that have gifted me with their best abilities.
The most difficult one?
The most difficult horse to interpret was no one else than Landzeus. He always had a slightly rebellious character!
The horse of your present?
Regarding today I hope to meet again a horse that allows me to achieve great results.
The most impressive arena you have performed in?
The most beautiful fields in which I competed are many, but I am particularly attached to Calgary and Aachen, certainly among the most scenic and impactful in the world.
An Italian and a foreign rider you particularly respect?
The Italian riders who I respect are many and I could not tell anyone in particular because each of them has a different characteristic that I like. The foreign rider I always look at with great admiration is Gregory Wathelet.
What is your philosophy in relation to the horse?
Regarding my relationship with horses, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I have always respected their growth times and their characteristics, enhancing their abilities. For me, the horse is obviously a life partner and work colleague with whom I always look for complicity and collaboration.
Your advice on how to get the best results?
To get good results I believe that the best way is to work with perseverance and patience, always keeping in mind that riding is made of unforeseen events and we must never be discouraged. Sometimes what may seem like a problem becomes an opportunity for improvement for both horse and rider.
How would you define a great personal satisfaction?
Personally I feel great satisfaction in front of a victory of one of my students, which does not necessarily have to correspond to a podium.
A horse for me is an athlete, a teammate, a rough diamond to sculpt. 3 words to describe them? Elegance, Power, Agility.