10 July 2021
MILANO JUMPING CUP PAYS HOMAGE TO EQUESTRIAN LEGEND AND OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST GRAZIANO MANCINELLI NAMING GRAND PRIX AFTER HIM
With the Snaitech Grand Prix, the main event marking the end of the first edition of the Milano Jumping Cup, now named after Graziano Mancinelli, a significant tribute has been paid to an icon of equestrian and Olympic sport. It is a touching tribute, one that reminds us of one of the greatest Milanese sportsmen of all times; Mancinelli was a giant in the equestrian world, 'primum inter pares' in the golden age of the D'Inzeo brothers.
Snaitech’s CEO Fabio Schiavolin, organiser of the MJC, explained the decision to name the Grand Prix after the Olympic legend as follows, “The MJC was born was born amidst the planning and excitement surrounding the preparation of the Milan-Cortina 2026 Games. Therefore, celebrating an Olympic champion who was born here in Milan, and was example and reference point for Italian and world equestrianism, seemed only natural . Ours is just a small tribute to one of the sport's greatest champions.”
Attending the show as an interested spectator, the national show jumping team’s coach and chef d’equipe, Duccio Bartalucci, gave the Milanese show top marks. “The Milano Jumping Cup marks the return to Milan of a great equestrian event, in an extraordinary location such as the San Siro Racecourse. Furthermore, this is show potentially capable of becoming part of the international circuit. As far as I am concerned, it is also the source of important indications for future shows.” Bartalucci also approved the decision to name Sunday’s Grand Prix Snaitech, the most important class on the last day, after Graziano Mancinelli, to whom Bartalucci remains close thanks to intense memories, “Like all boys who at the time dreamt of a future as show jumpers, I too considered Mancinelli a legend to be emulated, just like the d’Inzeo brothers. A few years later I competed with him, sharing the joys and sorrows also at World and European Championships. He was a man who characterised an era and is also part of Milan’s heritage because while it is true that he started his career in Rome, most of his professional life was linked to the city he was born in.”
Graziano Mancinelli was born in Milan in Via Faruffini, starting off in as a stable boy and then working in Rome having moved there with his family. He lived his most perfect day at the 1972 Olympics where he won individual gold riding the magnificent Ambassador, a dappled grey bred in Ireland that carried himself regally and called “the most handsome champion of the Games.” The day had ended with a jump-off between three riders, Mancinelli, Great Britain’s Anne Moore and the American rider Shapiro, and is quite rightly remembered as one of the most iconic moments in Italian equestrian sports. As far as Mancinelli’s being Milanese is concerned, he himself claimed this proudly, remembering the nickname he had had since he was an adolescent: ‘el biundin de la Cruseta’ [the little blond chap from Cruseta, Translator’s Note] referred to the Crocetta Stables in Via Ripamonti. By 1989 he had been appointed chef d’équipe of the Italian team and passed away far too soon when he was only 55 years old on October 8th 1992.
In the photograph Graziano Mancinelli and Ambassador - photo by Rolls Press/Popperfoto thanks to Getty Images
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