Eurodressage: Silvia Rizzo Shifts to the Next Gear with Ducati Horse Power

Published on 16 October 2023 at 14:09

Italian Grand Prix rider Silvia Rizzo has shifted into a next gear in her dressage career with Ducati horse power. Rizzo acquired the 12-year old Hanoverian gelding Ducati (by Don Crusador x Rotspon) as her 2020 Tokyo Olympic hopeful. 

Known for her contagious smile, beach blond hair, blue glasses and her huge social media following, Rizzo has been a presence in the international dressage world for the past ten years with her Grand Prix horses, the Oldenburg licensed stallion Donnerbube 2 and the Lusitano licensed stallion Sal. She has also been the discoverer and owner of top dressage horses such as World Young horse Championship bronze medal winner Blickpunkt (Eva Möller), Grand Prix mare Donna Silver (Daniel Bachmann Andersen, Hans Peter Minderhoud) and junior riders team horse Hot Chocolate (Chiara Prijs-Vitale, Maisie Scruton).

The past year she has dedicated to taking her riding to the next level with tunnel-focus commitment under the supervision of an Olympic coach.

"I voluntarily decided to take a break from competing," Rizzo explained. "With a new trainer I am working hard at improving myself as a rider. I always take the judges' feedback under very careful consideration and have been putting their tips and advice into practice at home. I'm devoted to be a better competition rider and I'm fully taking my time to advance myself."


Rizzo and DucatiThe Italian pledged not to take the easy road and while she was working on her self-improvement, her path crossed with Ducati's


"I have never put a limit on myself. Every day I tell myself the mantra, "be better than the day before," said Silvia. "I put all my strength in working on myself and want to become more professional. It feels like magic that I found Ducati because he is a personification of my personality: strong headed, powerful, happy-go-lucky and sometimes a little bit crazy," she joked. 

The tall black gelding has been successfully competed at international small tour level by Dutch Jeroen Okkema. At the 2016 CDIO Compiegne the pair finished in the top three of the small tour with solid scores over seventy percent. Okkema trained Ducati to Grand Prix level  before selling the horse to Rizzo last March.

"I am super thrilled about Ducati and I can barely contain my excitement," said the bubbly Rizzo. "He is such a high quality mover with an unbelievable engine behind. I love the feeling that he is such a powerful, strong horse, but at the same time can easily shift back a few gears, collect his gaits and truly sit in the piaffe. He is my Olympic hopeful."

Rizzo continues to boast a large string of sponsors who connect their brand to her positive image and huge fan base. Helmet company KEP Italia has been one of her most loyal sponsors and most recently Silvia added saddle company Equipe to her list. 


Rizzo with her Olympic hopeful Ducati"Ducati is a huge horse and it was hard to fit the right saddle. Equipe really made a difference to both of us. his saddle sits beautifully on his back and I feel really comfortable in the soft seat," said Silvia. "I would be proud to help anyone who is interested in Equipe saddles and will put them in touch with the right retailer. I know what a struggle it is to find a correctly fitting saddle and it can save them much time and money by getting the right contacts straight away."


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