Giampiero Garofalo, Italian Champion 2023

“I’m grateful to my horses, to the owners and to all those who have stayed close and supported me”. Giampiero Garofalo

Giampiero Garofalo is the Italian Senior Champion of Show Jumping, a title he conquered riding Max Van Lentz Schrans on Saturday 22 April at the ‘Circolo Ippico Le Siepi’ (Cervia - Ravenna, Italy).

Aged 29, an Airman in the Italian Air Force, Giampiero Garofalo is among the top riders on the Italian Show Jumping Team. After a long period at the stables of Henk and Lisa Nooren in the Netherlands, Giampiero Garofalo  started running his own business, the Morssinkhof Stables in Lommel, Belgium, owned by Rolf Morssinkhof, who also owns one of Garofalo’s top horses, Dynamite vh Legita Hof Z.

“It is the first time I have taken part in the Italian Senior Championship.  It wasn’t even on the programme initially because Max didn’t have much experience on those courses - says Giampiero - But then he had an amazing beginning to the year, jumping better and better at Oliva, Gorla and Arezzo, and, together with Italian chef d’equipe Marco Porro, we decided to try him out at Italian Championships, to help him gain experience.  He arrived at the Championships in top form. He jumped really well, finishing three rounds, each better than the last, jumping with an incredible ease. We knew he had a high potential, but this championship was another confirmation. This opens the doors to the CSIO in Rome, to which I return ready for action! Rome, for us, is an extremely important show; I hope to maintain our form and do the best me and my horses are capable of.”  And then there will be the European Championships in Milan… “Yes, of course! There is still some time; anything can happen; we will take it step by step”.

Max Van Lentz Schrans is owned by Belgian Jan Dams, who is also his breeder. “I began riding Max just over a year ago when he was still at the Nooren’s stables - continues Giampiero - When I started to run my own business, Jan Dams decided to loan him to me.  I am so grateful for his trust and support and now he is really happy with this win; having bred Max, Jan’s satisfaction is even greater, seeing how his horse has grown both athletically and sports-wise over the year. Speaking of owners, without whom nothing would be possible, let me take this opportunity to thank Paul Hendrix, owner of Gaspahr, and Rolf Morssinkhof, owner of Dynamite vh Legita Hof Z, two horses which allow me to jump at high levels. I would also like to thank Henk and Lisa Nooren for the opportunity to develop thanks to working with them over the years, and all those who sustain and support me, starting with my family, who allowed both myself and my brother to follow a career abroad: my brother Antonio is now at the top international level.  I’d like to thank my team, the Italian Federation along with coach Marco Porro, who is always close at hand to support us, and who helps to bring out the best in each one of us. Last but not least, I must thank the Italian Air Force who I am honoured to represent.”


Eleonora Ottaviani President of the Young Riders Academy with Giampiero Garofalo Eleonora Ottaviani President of the Young Riders Academy with Giampiero Garofalo

Giampiero Garofalo was selected to enter into the Young Riders Academy in 2016 but effectively began the programme the following year, 2017, during a period in which he moved to Germany to the stables of Marco Kutcher, who remained his coach for the entire training programme of the YRA.  “The Young Riders Academy is the best thing that ever happened to me - says Giampiero - It was fantastic, an amazing experience, which continues today. I owe a great deal to the Young Riders Academy. They really believed in me, they helped me in every possible way, and continue to do so until this day. This is a wonderful thing!  We must never forget all the things that other people do to help us!”


Images © S.Secchi and Fotoshopeventi di M.Cantieri