‘Positively surprised indeed’ was the unanimous comment by the delegates of the National Federations who, on Monday, July 3, visited the facilities of the Ippodromo Snai San Siro, the venue of the 37th edition of the FEI Jumping European Championship to be held from August 30 to September 3.

The Organising Committee and the FEI, represented in Milan by Tim Hadaway (Director Games Operation Department), Somesh Dutt (Games Operation Department), Gerard Lachat (Foreign Technical Delegate EU CH Milan 2023) and Professor Lars Roepstorff (Scientific Footing Advisor) invited all the participating nations and seven of them gladly accepted their invitation: Sweden (Sara Johansson – Chef de Mission), Switzerland (Thomas Fuchs – National Coach), France (Henk Nooren – Chef d’Equipe), the Netherlands (Ad Wagemakers – Chef de Mission), Great Britain (Di Lampard – Chef d’Equipe), Spain (Carolo Lopèz-Quesada – Chef d’Equipe) and Italy (Marco Porro –National Coach).

In the opening session of the meeting, the event organizer’s top representatives, Laura Campopiano (Event Director), Sara Riffeser (Show Director), together with Simone Perillo (FISE General Secretary) illustrated the history and the racing tradition of the facility and all the most relevant organisational aspects of the championship, which will be staged at the centre of the racetracks.

Then some time was devoted to the introduction of the organising team, featuring, among others, Uliano Vezzani as Course Designer, Patrick Borg as Stable Manager and Pedro Cebulka as Ring Master, as well as of the panel of FEI officials (ground jury and stewards).

A large part of the meeting focused on the work carried out on the 108 x 75 metre grass competition field. The progressive improvement of the competition field has been constantly monitored by the three agronomists in charge of the Thoroughbred racing tracks.

The turf at the centre of the tracks had already been upgraded to meet the technical characteristics of a jumping arena three years ago, for the debut of the Milano Jumping Cup with a CSI3*; then, it has been painstakingly maintained after the 2022 edition, a CSI4* which required the field to be further enhanced to reach European Championship standards.

The inspections carried out on June 8 by Lars Roepstorff, a professor in Functional Anatomy of Domestic Animals at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, also confirmed that the San Siro competition field is in line with the quality specifications required for a championship.

Professor Roepstorff presented an interesting comparison between the characteristics of the San Siro facility in Milan and the most important grass arenas on the international equestrian scene.

The meeting was followed by a visit to the competition field. There, under the watchful eye of the foreign guests, Giulia Martinengo Marquet and Omar Bonomelli, two top Italian riders summoned for the occasion by the Italian national coach Marco Porro, engaged in a jumping work-out session in order to allow the technicians to evaluate its features.

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