Gorla Minore, Italy – April 29, 2021 – The first stage of the Longines EEF Series kicked off last week, with Italy hosting the inaugural event of the Longines EEF Series.
From Friday 23 to Sunday 25 April, the Equieffe Equestrian Centre in the town of Gorla Minore, Varese, Italy, hosted a CSIO3* – the first in this long-awaited series of events, and the first of the European season – which sees twelve teams competing for the Nations Cup.
On Saturday 24 April, teams from Argentina, Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Italy, rode into the Equinoxe Arena of the Lombard facility.
Initiated by the European Equestrian Federation (EEF), the Longines EEF Series gives talented young riders and pairs – as well as upcoming nations – the chance to gain technical expertise in high level competitions to which it would otherwise be difficult to accede.
Regulations dictate that the five riders making up the official teams, from which four riders making up the team are then chosen, must necessarily include one Amazon or Under-25 Rider, giving space to the Next Generation of show jumpers.
However, the philosophy behind the Longines EEF Series extends far beyond the competitors, involving ‘Officials’ (Judges, Stewards, etc), Course Designer and assistants. Calling upon upcoming youngsters to fill these roles at various stages of the circuit, the series aims to provide opportunities to enrich their professional experience, guaranteeing the development of well-primed figures for the success of top sporting events.
Theo Ploegmakers, EEF President
“I am extremely pleased that starting up this new circuit has been possible in this difficult period, at a time when we are facing two challenging difficulties: Covid-19 and the Herpes Virus EHV-1. We are especially grateful to Emanuele Fiorelli and the Equieffe Equestrian Centre for their considerable efforts in allowing the Longines EEF Series to take place.”
Marco Di Paola, FISE President
“With the organisation of the first appointment in the Longines EEF Show Jumping Series, Italy wishes to communicate a strong and important message of starting over, flanked by a spirit of great determination and a sense of responsibility. There is much enthusiasm about ‘jumping’ again and over the coming weekend we will finally have an opportunity to once again see great sporting moments which have been absent for far too long. I offer my grateful thanks to the EEF and the Equieffe Equestrian Centre, together with the FISE, for their enormous efforts and determination to bring horses and riders to the Event at Gorla Minore.”
Emanuele Fiorelli, Event Director
“I am proud to host the first stage of this important circuit which will be added to the roster of the many international events which we have organised for years. This event provides proof of both the considerable development and reputationearned by the Equieffe Equestrian Centreinternationally over the past few years. Given the problems of the moment, we have worked hard to create this CSIO in compliance with the regulations, whilst placing respect for the horses in first place. We have done everything in our powers to meet the challenge. Our only regret is the necessary absence of the public. But there will be another opportunity.”
Source: Press Release (edited) from the EEF – European Equestrian Federation
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