Roberto Rotatori: the most successful italian rider in history at Badminton.
In 2008 Roberto Rotatori was a member of the Italian Eventing Team who ranked 6th at Beijing Olympics, and placed himself among the first 30 riders in the world at individual level.
He is the most successful Italian rider in history at Badminton International Horse Trials, ranking 4th at the CCI4* in 2009. Badminton is the most prestigious Three-Day-Eventing competition in the world, with more than 250,000 spectators.
In the same year he got the Team Silver Medal and the 7th individual position at the European Championships in Fontainbleau, after obtaining the Team Bronze Medal in the European Championships two years earlier.
“When I went to try Irham I was immediately struck by his gaze, he was a horse of great dignity and seriousness, that almost put me in awe. I had seen many other horses before, but when we looked at each other in the eyes for the first time there seemed to be a lightning striking, and I realized that I couldn’t have had better luck than that. Thanks to his owners, who decided to buy him so that I could train him, Irham and I began together a journey that took us in just a few months to achieve many successes.”
From the first experiences with horses to the decision to devote his life to horse riding
Roberto’s encounter with horses happened by chance in the late 70s.
“The beginning was traumatic: my first time on the saddle I was on the Cassanese road, near Milan. During the hack out my mare spooked and I only managed to stop her before the traffic lights.” I told myself: ” NEVER AGAIN! “But of course, it wasn’t like that”.
“Although the first experience hadn’t been too fortunate, my passion for horses grew stronger each day. I started riding by the butchers of the village with the intent of helping to avoid those horses being slaughtered, but rather sold for trail rides or school. An unusual beginning, dictated more by passion for these animals rather than competitive ambitions. “
At the age of 12 Roberto started taking riding lessons in Milan with Silvano Galbiati. Thanks to Mr. Galbiati Roberto’s passion for horses grew to the point that he decided, at only 14 years old, to devote his life to horse riding.
In 1987, during military service, he discovered the discipline of Eventing, to which he started dedicating himself soon after.
The period in England with Mark Todd and the commitment as an instructor
In 1997 he moved to England to work with Sir Mark Todd, deepening his experience both as rider and instructor.
“Apart from being a special person and a friend, Mark Todd is still one of the best riders in the world. Throughout my career, the year I worked by Mark’s side was the year when I learned the most, especially regarding horse management and planning, and the type of qualitative work and life that a competing horse needs to follow.”
He returned to Italy in 1998 and dedicated himself to the activity of instructor. He was then the Federal Technician for Lombardy at the Coppa delle Regioni, and collaborated with the most prominent Lombard riding centers, such as the Lombard Equestrian Center and the Monzese Equestrian Center, where he brought numerous young riders up to Italian and European Championships level.
Individual and as a member of the National Italian Team international successes
“Before meeting Irham, in 2005 I bought two horses: Caspian, a thoroughbred born in Argentina, and Clifton Fiesta, a New Zealandese thoroughbred, with whom I resumed my activity as a rider, reaching again the 3 * level competitions and gaining participations to the Italian Absolute Championships.”
In 2006, with Irham, he quickly obtained the qualifications for the 2007 Eventing European Championships, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Badminton and the 2009 Eventing European Championships.
An injury in 2011 forced him to suspend the competitive activity for a period. Roberto dedicated himself to teaching young riders, receiving from the Italian Federation of Equestrian Sports the title of Juniores and Young Riders National Team CT, which he led to the European Championships until 2013.
Meanwhile, he resumed his competitive activity with young horses selected and trained by him, including his current companion Castlerichmond SRS and Pura del Castegno.
“I think Castlerichmond is the nicest horse I’ve ever had to deal with in my career, he’s always in a good mood and interacts a lot both with people and horses: he’s a good leader, much loved by his teammates. He loves competing and always gives the best of himself.”
The rise of his young horses to the international competitive scene
In 2014 Roberto’s young horses obtained the first important awards at international level: Castlerichmond SRS won the 13th place at the Young Horses World Championships at Le Lion d’Angers and the 2nd place at the Italian Championships reserved to 6 years old horses. Pura del Castegno won the Italian Championship reserved to 5 years old horses and the following year was on top of the list for the 6 years old horses World Championships.
In 2015 Castlerichmond, at the age of 7, achieved the 19th place at the World Championships reserved to the 7 years old horses and in 2016 he won 2* international competitions and ranked 5th in the CICO3 * Nations Cup in Vairano.
His commitment for the Federation and the growth of young horses
In 2017 Roberto was appointed by the Italian Equestrian Federation Federal Technician for the Clinics on the Italian territory. He is now also a member of the Federal Eventing Competitions and Courses Commission.
To date, Roberto is committed to the growth of young horses, including the promising 5-years old KC Noble Class and 7-year-old Colpaccio; he is active in the international circuit competing in events such as Blenheim International Horse Trials and got qualified for Tryon World Championships (USA) 2018.
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