Sixty thousand kilos of hay, seven hundred horses, five hundred and fifty knights, forty-three countries at the starting belt and ninety-three medals to be assigned. Here are the numbers of the Weg, the world horse racing championships that from now until October 11 will hold a bench in Rome. The Fise, the Italian equestrian sports federation, had to do things quickly, as the capital knew that it had to host the great circus of horse-riding only a year ago, when Dublin, the seat designated for the Weg ’98, formalized the his lump sum. At the appointment Rome presents three official testimonials: two in flesh and blood, the champion Raimondo D’Inzeo and Heather Parisi, godmother of the event, and one of pelouche, “Funni”, official pony-mascot. Three venues: the Flaminio stadium for the occasion completely renovated and brought to eighteen thousand places, the Pratoni del Vivaro (Roman Castles area) and the Santa Barbara estate, near Bracciano, where the vaulting competitions will be held, the only ones with free admission. For the hurdle jump, the discipline of the most ancient tradition, you will always compete at the Flaminio stadium and at a high price, given that for the finals tickets cost from a minimum of eighty thousand to a maximum of two hundred and fifty thousand.
The other three disciplines are the “dressage”, in which the rider has to win points by executing a series of figures, the “complete contest”, the combined race of various specialties, and attacks, the only equestrian activity in which you do not mount on horseback but you Driving a “wood”, that is a carriage, sballottando the two passengers even in an adventurous rally of 22 kilometers. In This specialty Italy, which has little hope of winning a medal, sports an athlete of certain nobility, Tommaso Gargallo of Castel Lentini.
This afternoon the official inauguration at the Flaminio Stadium, in the presence of the Spanish Infanta Pilar, sister of Juan Carlos and president of the International Equestrian Federation and of several horse enthusiasts, such as Renzo Arbore, Goofy Baudo, Eros Ramazzotti and Melba Ruffo. The stadium will arrive, directly from Lausanne, waving the flag Weg, also a horse relay. Then the start of the races, that the winners will give a lot of fame but little money: the total prize pool is in fact 489 million, the winning team they will go around 55, little thing in comparison to riding competitions like that of Calgary where the first placed Take home 276 million.
The squadron to beat, in the obstacle jump is the German one, which boasts two aces as Franke Sloothaak and Ludger Beerbaum. In the “complete” the favorites are the Australians and New Zealanders, in the ‘ attacks ‘ are strong teams of central. There to swear however that the eyes will be all for the Amazons: like the blonde Gonellien rothen Berger dressage specialist, undisputed queen of the circuit. And for the ten days of the horse will not miss, of course the traditional side events: Wednesday  evening, in the halls of Palazzo Colonna, there is an exclusive opening party, guests of honor the Foreign Minister Dini and his wife Donatella. They follow party a bit in all the embassies, and in the halls of the Capitol, where the 5 mayor Francesco Rutelli will receive all the Knights. On October 4th at the Flaminio there will be a demonstration of “reining “, the dressage of the western mounts, while the 10th there is a parade of twenty mares with foal in tow. On 6 October, then there will be another testimonial, this time virtual: Robert Redford, protagonist of the film “The man who whispered to the horses”, which is projected in a Roman cinema for all so-called VIPs, then invited to the party style ‘ Dolce Vita ‘ in Via Veneto.