San Patrignano CSI-A (ITA)

Equestrian sport against drugs and social outcasting

The fifth international San Patrignano CSI-A Show Jumping, devoted to the memory of its late founder, Vincenzo Muccioli, will be held on next July 20-22 in the equestrian centre of the largest European drug rehabilitation centre. San Patrignano CSI-A represents a unique event in the sports world, because on this occasion horse-riding becomes the leader of an initiative of solidarity concerning social plagues as drug addiction and social outcasting.

Giacomo Muccioli, Vincenzo’s son and President of the CSI-A Organizing Committee, has highlighted the important role of the equestrian sport in this event: "The sports world is often committed in social events, but San Patrignano CSI-A is completely different from the other ones. It is the only event which takes place in a drug rehabilitation centre where it is entirely managed and organized by its young guests. The San Patrignano CSI-A’s participants take part not only in a top Show Jumping, but they also demonstrate a commitment towards social problems. I believe that horse-riding is a fundamental example of the role that sports could play in the social field".

San Patrignano community is located close to Rimini, on the Adriatic coast, in the Northern part of Italy (Bologna is the nearest International airport) and it extends on 250 hectares. Over the past 20 years the Community has hosted more than 16.000 people and the majority of them, with the support and help received, have been able to regain their place in society, as responsible people, active and free at last from drugs. Due to Vincenzo Muccioli's great love of horses, in the past decade breeding and equestrian activities have become more and more important to the community's life and San Patrignano is now a name known world wide in the equestrian field.

Top riders will take part to the 2001 San Patrignano CSI-A: the last Olympic champion, the Dutch Jeroen Dubbeldam (currently 5th in the FEI Rankings), the 2001 World Champion, Markus Fuchs (6th) from Switzerland, current European champion and best rider of the

world ranking, the French lady Alexandra Ledermann (17th), the strong Swiss team led by its captain, Willi Melliger (2nd), Beat Mandli (11th) and Urs Fah (45th). The Belgian riders Ludo Philippaerts (9th), Philippe Lejeune and the winner of the last Gran Prix, François Mathy Jr., Peter Charles (29th) from Ireland and Richard Fellers (40th) from the United States. Italy will be represented by its three best riders, the Italian champion Roberto Arioldi(22th), Jerry Smit (31th) and Gianni GovoniThe Spanish rider Fernando Fourcade will be the representative of the home colours - the San Patrignano Jumping Team – riding the best young horses of the community’s breeding. For the second year running, H.M. Princess Haja of Jordan will take part to the San Patrignano CSI-A, where last year she gained the audience’s esteem thanks to her charm and competitive determination.

The competitions will run every day (in the magnificent grass arena – 70 x 100 metres) from 5:30 pm. The night competitions will take place in the evening at 9:30 pm. Among these ones, the highlights of the show will be: "Acqua Uliveto Prize" on Saturday 21st, a derby-like competition using natural fences and "Infostrada Gran Prix - Challenge Vincenzo Muccioli" on Sunday 22nd. Show Director will be, as for the past sessions, Eleonora Ottaviani, director of the Riders International Association and of last World Championship held in Rome, while the course designer will be Olaf Petersen, Chairman of the FEI Show Jumping Committee and course director during next Olympic Games in Athens. San Patrignano CSI-A will have a total prize-money of 400 millions lira, of which 150 millions lira are the purse of the Infostrada Grand Prix, a competition that saw, in the past years, the victory of the best riders such as Jos Lansink, Guido Dominici, Alexandra Ledermann and François Mathy Jr.

Technical consultant will be the Dutch rider, Emile Hendrix, Vice President of the Riders Association and member of the FEI Show Jumping Committee, who has said: "I am really proud to offer my cooperation in carrying out this Show Jumping and above all it is a boundless pleasure to work together with the young guests of the community. I think this event is to open people’s eyes on a social problem which involves all the countries: drug addiction".

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Updated: October 2005.