Female rider minority in Verona look to take Italian leg for first time in 14 years…

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Published on November 8, 2013

uciana Diniz and Winningmood will compete in Verona, Italy this week
Luciana Diniz and Winningmood will compete in Verona, Italy this week

Just 11 of the 52 competitors from 22 nations competing at this year’s Jumping Verona are ladies, but what a sparkling line-up we have this year, headed by three-time FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum from Germany with the fabulous mare Bella Donna.

They may be less in number, but female showjumping riders have always made their presence felt since admitted to the sport, and the defending FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion is America’s Beezie Madden. However only one lady rider has ever won the Italian leg of the series, and that was Lesley McNaught Maendli scooped the honours for Switzerland with Dulf at Bologna in 1999. Is this the year for another female victory??

Portugal’s Luciana Diniz is currently fifth in the Longines Rankings and has enjoyed two great runs in the series so far, finishing fourth at the opening leg in Oslo, Norway and fifth in the second qualifier in Helsinki, Finland just a few weeks ago, each time partnering Edouard de Rothschild’s adorable grey stallion, Winningmood. Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander lies 14th on the rankings table right now and is always a formidable opponent but, for many, the one to watch out for this weekend will be Athina Onassis de Miranda.

The Greek rider’s performances with AD Camille Z at this summer’s PSI FEI European Jumping Championships in Denmark were little short of breath-taking, and this looks like a partnership that is really going places. Other ladies in the line-up are Swedish star Malin Baryard-Johnson, Switzerland’s Jane Richards, and of course Italy’s Giulia Martinengo, Lucia Vizzini and Eleonora Zorzetto. And one lady who knows a thing or two about style, both in the saddle and out of it, is Spain’s Marta Ortega-Perez, whose father, Amancio Ortega, owns the Zara retail chain. Marta’s husband, Sergio Alvarez-Moya, won last year’s FEI World Cup™ Jumping qualifier at Verona, so no doubt he will be offering his wife some valuable advice and assistance this week – or will it be the other way around??

Source: Jumping Verona Press Release

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