A minute’s silence was held at all weekend sporting events in Italy earlier this month (16-17 November) to mark the death, at 88, of the legendary showjumper, General Raimondo d’Inzeo.
Raimondo made his Olympic debut at the London 1948 Games.
He won six Olympic jumping medals, most memorably on home ground in Rome 1960 when he took gold ahead of his older brother, Piero, who took silver.
He also won two individual world championship titles and many prestigious grands prix, including Aachen, Rome (four times) and Dublin twice on the Irish-bred Bellevue. His other top horses were his Olympic gold medal ride Posillipo (pictured) Gowran Girl and Fiorello II.
Raimondo’s father, Carlo Costante d’Inzeo, was a renowned equestrian and chief instructor in Piemonte Reale, the Royal Piedmontese Dragoons, which was the smartest regiment in the Italian cavalry.
In 1950, Raimondo joined the Italian military police and held the title, General at the time of his death.
He was “a true icon and one of the most successful horsemen of all time,” said FEI general secretary Ingmar de Vos.
“He was a special kind of rider who could win every type of class, from grands prix to puissance to speed classes and he had incredible success with so many different horses.”
Raimondo d’Inzeo’s body lay in state at the headquarters of the Italian Olympic committee (CONI) in Rome ahead of his funeral on 18 November. Hundreds of people attended the funeral including representatives of the Italian authorities, media, friends — and his 90-year-old brother, Piero.
He leaves a wife, Giuliana.
This article first appeared in H&H 28 November 2013.