My dressage journey as an international dressage rider
My name is Olivia Moriano and I'm an international dressage rider for the Italian Team.
From a young age, I followed my mothers footsteps with having a strong interest and love for horses. Originally, I never had the intention of become a dressage rider, let alone riding for my country, Italy. My love for dressage began when I got an extremely competitive 13h thoroughbred pony who (at the time) was too much for me as an 8-year-old rider to handle in a jumping arena, so I turned to dressage and I’ve never looked back.
With Jack (Gemswood Morning Son), I won many local championships at Prelim and Novice level, later being selected for the BYRDS Southern team as a Fledgling. We came 8th out of 30 compeitiors in our first Southern representation which have me a glimps of the feeling of success and competiveness.
One day, in 2011, my mother found my now best friend and superstar Master Alexander who was breed and trained in Holland for Dutch trainer, Burt Rutten's daughter. Within a few weeks of owning him, we competed in the BYRDS inter-regional championships and later won many classes together as a young partnership. We competed in many local affiliated dressage competitions starting at Novice level, becoming Sparsholt elementary champions and developed my riding to compete at Advanced Medium when I was 15 years old. As Rikki was imported, I was among the open section against all adults, however we still came in the top three during the majority of our outing.
In the winter of 2012, we got selected to be on GB pony national training over the winter and in 2013 got re selected. This led to the opportunity to attend GB squad selection at the start of 2014. This was an amazing achievement as a 13-year-old. In 2014, I was chosen to represent the English Southern BYRDS team at the Home Internationals where we came second in practice at medium level. Later on in the year, we were on the reserve champion team at under 25's championships at Sheepgate.
Due to my dual nationality (father is Italian), I was given the opportunity to represent Italy at pony FEI level. I got my two qualifying score sheets to represent Italy to kick start my international journey. In March 2015, I got chosen to compete in my first CDI at Addington Manor, Buckinghamshire. Myself and Rikki came in the top 20 in all three classes against previous champions. 2015 was sadly my last year doing pony FEI level due to my age, but I have been given the incredible opportunity to have the ride on Sally-Anne Hoyle’s stunning advanced horse Worldly Wise. Rikki and I have progressed into an amazing partnership that will last a lifetime and I'm hoping this repeats itself with Will.
At the start of my partnership with Worldly Wise, we had the aim to get a place on the Junior Italian team at the 2017 European Championships. In June, I was selected for the Italian Junior short list. Having got Will in December 2015, we have achieved scores up to 79% at Advanced Medium, qualified for the British Dressage summer regionals and qualified for Hickstead CDI, however it sadly got cancelled during our first competitive season as a young partnership. We came 4th at the Home internationals competing at Junior FEI level and was a part of the Southern Team at the Sheepgate u25's championships coming 4th. In March 2017, we got selected to represent Italy at Keysoe CDI coming in the top 15 for both tests and qualified for the Kur (freestyle to music). We made our PSG/Young rider debut coming 3rd at Hickstead Premier League in June 2017. My next international was Hickstead CDI in July where I came 4th in the Team Test with 67%. We have competed internationally 6 times together and hope to continue onto Under 25s Grand Prix.
On top of dressage, I studied Economics, Government & Politics and English Literature and Language at A-level achieving grades that got me into my first choice university, The London Institute of Banking and Finance. Now in my 3rd year of my degree, I continue my dressage alongside my studies with the ultimate dream to try and reach the Italian Olympic Team in the future. This sport has given me so many memorable and wonderful moment to treasure forever. Will and I's past seasons together have been very successful and our growing partnership had continued into this season where I have learnt a tremendous amount.
I am really looking forward to working towards small tour selection with the FISE's support, and making the transition to U25's. As well as looking for my next ride, a young horse I can potentially train up to GP along ride Will.
Thank you to my friends & family and my kind sponsors for your continued support; it would not be possible without you all.