Eurodressage: Silvia Rizzo Gets Nod of Appreciation from Fashion King Valentino at 2015 CDI Doha

Published on 16 October 2023 at 14:13

For Italian Grand Prix rider Silvia Rizzo competing a second time at the prestigious invitation-only CHI Al Shaqab in Doha, Qatar, was a highlight event in many ways. Rizzo made her first competitive outing on Pariani Sal since seeking training with Nuno Palma e Santos, but she also was the only rider invited to the private VIP box of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Thani and the Italian King of Fashion, Valentino.


After finishing fourth in the Grand Prix Special on Sunday 8 March 2015, Rizzo was the only dressage rider invited to step into Al Thani's honorary VIP box as a special guest to be personally introduced to Italian fashion icon Valentino Garavani.


"It was an absolute honour and privilege to meet Valentino in person," Rizzo gushed. "I have a weak spot for Italian high fashion and Valentino is the absolute king. It was mind blowing to hear he was impressed by my horse and enjoyed watching my ride. He congratulated me for my elegant seat and my new chrome KEP Italia helmet. I couldn't believe my ears when he said that I looked divine."


The 2015 CDI 5* in Doha is an exceptional event set at a state-of-the art multi discipline equestrian centre in the desert. This 5* international event is held under the patronage of Sheikh Al Thani and the highest ranked riders on the World Dressage Riders List get invited to compete. For 2015 a total of 21 horse and rider dressage combinations were flown in to show there.



Rizzo and Pariani Sal (by Mississipi x Golega) made their come back to the show ring after a winter break, which Rizzo spent in Florida as brand amabassador for her sponsors. Silvia has also been training with Sal's former rider, Portuguese Nuno Palma e Santos, to fine-tune her skills and improve her riding on the  liver chestnut, licensed Lusitano breeding stallion. In Doha, Rizzo finished 19th in the Grand Prix and 4th in the Special.


"I am so thrilled to compete in Doha for the second time," Rizzo explained. "I had a great feeling on Pariani Sal, even though I made a few mistakes. Still, I can feel I'm on the right way with Nuno's help and I understand my horse better. We just need more time to make further improvements. I'm already so pleased with the progress I feel in the saddle. Nuno and my groom Francesca help me to get Sal in the best shape."


The dressage leg of the CHI Al Shaqab was professionally organized and run by Dr. Ulf Möller of Performance Sales International (PSI), who made sure that all the needs of the riders, horses and team members were met.



"Doha is such an excellent show. The facilities are amazing and the organizers are incredibly friendly and helpful," said Silvia. "We were here for the first edition in 2013 and everything was perfect then, but now it was even better! Ulf Moller is the best show director I have ever met. He is always friendly, intelligent, helpful and listens to the riders. He knows the rules and solves matters swiftly without stressing the riders."


Rizzo and Pariani Sal boast a long list of sponsors which support them on their journey on the international dressage scene: Accademia Italiana, Stivaleria Secchiari, Champion, Performance Imports, Kep Italia, Selleria Pariani, WellingtonDressage boots, MDC Stirrups, SSG gloves,, and Judi Manche.


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