European Dream comes true

Having returned to prominence on the international competition circuit, Daniele Da Rios is enjoying a 2015 full of surprises

  • #jumping
  • #european championship
  • #italian
  • #CSIO

Basiglio, near Milan, Italy: the San Francesco stables are one of the most known and most attended riding schools of the Milan hinterland. Managing it, primarily, is Harry Da Rios, an 'old school' horseman with extensive experience thanks to the endless days spent at the stables handling horses, students, the school ... organising and planning, as a true head of the family does, together with his wife Paola, his tireless right hand assistant. A true and deep passion that they have both been able to pass on to others, and which started for Daniele from young age, having grown up with horses, riding at the stable every day, working, taking part in competitions, following students and in the meantime building a career as an international rider. Daniele Da Rios has indeed over the years become one of the italian riders of greatest prominence as well as being an instructor who is very popular with his many students.
Today Daniele manages as best he can the time spent between the work with his horses, lessons to his students and the general management of the stable, always with the tireless support of his father Harry, mother Paola and now also his wife Francesca.
​But as you know, stable life, while being beautiful and rewarding, involves many sacrifices and hard work. Daniele, thanks to the support of a number of owners, bases his work on the purchase of young horses and works with commitment and passion to gradually bring them up to their maximum possible level; some of them even end up jumping in the Grand Prix with a return for the Da Rios establishment of competitive and financial rewards, as is the case for most of the riders who run stables in Italy.

Among these horses, having the ability to know how to choose them and to raise them with the correct progression, there is an opportunity to create champions. This was the case for Daniele when he got into the saddle with Komparse, the grey that brought him to the forefront of show jumping in 2009 and 2010 before he decided to sell it to the young Swiss Janika Sprunger that has ridden him since 2011 at the highest international levels. "Komparse allowed me to reach the highest levels and it was a great disappointment for me to have to sell him - says Daniele - but it was the right thing to do because thanks to the sale of Komparse we were able to buy For Passion which has today allowed me to resume competing at the top levels". Daniele Da Rios, thirty-nine, five years after the sale of Komparse has now reappeared on the international scene with the Hanoverian bay For Passion, For Pleasure x Rio Branco, 10-year old stallion, with which this year he won with the italian team the Nations Cup Lummen and was part of the team at the Nations Cup at the CSIO Piazza di Siena, Rome.
"In my search for young horses I saw For Passion in Germany but I bought him immediately. Shortly after I came to see him again with Corrado Russomando who was looking for a horse for his daughter, my student; eventually he bought a horse for his daughter and also For Passion, the latter of which he entrusted to me. We bought him after five years. I started to ride him in circuit races of excellence for six-year olds but I realised they were too challenging for him. He was not yet ready and I didn't want him to do courses that were too difficult for a young horse, a concept that I also apply in general to all my horses when they are not ready, so I changed my plans and I began to take him to the normal national competitions to try him out on easy courses. For Passion is very balanced, he enters all the fields and faces every situation. While being a stallion, he is always focused and attentive. He has a big gallop and a good head and neck posture which means I need to ride him slightly more in control compared to my normal method. Essentially with him I am a little more seated in the saddle compared to my other horses that I ride with a lighter seat". After selling Komparse, Daniele Da Rios continued his work as a rider and instructor but away from the big international fields and yet he has returned without hesitation: "I am not particularly emotional - says Daniele about himself - I control my emotions although in recent months I have had to address some completely unexpected and new ones. I jumped my first Nations Cup in Lummen in the 1st League and my first Nations Cup in Rome, and so of course the emotions were all there. I did not expect to take part in the team in Rome and when Hans Horn called me up I must admit it was a great feeling. The experience in Rome was very important for me. I absorbed the atmosphere of the team and met some of the most important riders in the world". There are rumours that Daniele has already received important offers for the purchase of For Passion, a situation that arose just before the European Championships: "The rumours are true about the proposed purchase of For Passion, I have been receiving offers for a year - explains Daniele - but in agreement with the owner we decided to wait until the European Championships that are for me a very important opportunity. 

With Hans Horn we established a program that included a month of rest after Rome and then a transfer to Holland to work towards the objective Europeans. Then we will consider a possible sale. Moreover, in Italy we do not have sufficient external support to be able to think of keeping a horse; in some ways we are being forced to sell him to keep the stable and start over again by buying other young horses. Abroad when you reach the higher levels you receive lots of opportunities, new sponsors and support, the arrival of other horses, because in other European countries horse riding is one of the top sports but in Italy this is not the case. When you have a good horse you are in a prominent position but when its career is finished you no longer have that support and it all ends. To move forward you need to be continually renewing and this also involves giving up and selling an important horse in order to have new opportunities". With For Passion, he has other important horses like the Italian stallion Baedeker and Italian mare Luce del Castegno, previously ridden by German Philipp Weishaupt.
​2015 is therefore for Daniele a year of great surprises, the year of his firsts European Championships that is another first for him, a great chance. The countdown in Aachen has begun…