‘She’s the Best Horse I Ever Rode’: Lorenzo de Luca and Irenice Horta’s Short but Sweet (and Wildly Successful) Partnership

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n preparation for the WEG, Lorenzo had to make up for lost time with Irenice, a Stephex ride he took over in June after her former partner, Belgium’s Zoé Conter, who produced the mare from a seven-year-old, was injured. At CHIO Aachen this summer, the pair was unexpectedly thrown into the deep end.

“When I was in Aachen [with Irenice], it was our third show, and I was just supposed to do, like, two classes. But then we were missing a fourth rider, so I had to jump the Nations Cup!” laughs Lorenzo, who finished on zero and four faults for the team. “I actually felt comfortable, though, because I had a really good feeling. In that big ring, she felt comfortable, and she doesn’t look at anything.

“At the WEG, [there were] so many walls and strange jumps, and she didn’t look even once. She’s just straightforward – and [also] scopey and careful for sure.”