In 1962, Italy’s Raimondo D’Inzeo won the Grand Prix of Ireland, and today, fifty-four years later, Lorenzo De Luca repeated that feat when he won the €200,000 Longines International Grand Prix of Ireland CSIO5*. Following a tremendous Italian victory in the Furusiyya Nations Cup on Friday, Lorenzo de Luca saluted the Italian flag on Sunday for what can only be described as a week of “il dominio italiano” in the heart of Ireland.

So what do we know about the young Italian who rides for Stephex Stables, charmed the hard-nosed George Morris and came from humble beginnings in the south of Italy.

10 Things you need to know about Lorenzo de Luca

  1. I grew up in the South of Italy, in a town called Lecce. Lecce is often called the “Florence of the South” because of the rich history and Baroque architecture.
  2. I don’t have any special skills besides riding. I like play football but I’m not very good and I only like to do things that I’m really good at.
  3. I started riding professionally on my own at 18 years old, right after high school. My parents could not help me financially and I had to prove to my father that this was a worthwhile path to take.
  4. I got my first big break in the sport with Neil Jones and Neil Jones Equestrian.
  5. The rider I spend the most time with is my colleague Daniel Deusser. We both ride at Stephex stables so we spend a lot of time together.
  6. When I first went to Wellington, Florida for the Winter Equestrian Festival, George Morris took me aside and told me that I had great hands. He said that I displayed the best modern example of Raimondo D’Inzeo’s riding style. That was a really special moment for me, not only to have a legend like George Morris complement my riding but to be compared to D’Inzeo, who was such a Italian success during George’s time.
  7. My blue uniform represents the sport group of the Italian air force. Different sections of the Italian military support athletes from Italy. I am supported by the Italian air force and so I wear the special blue uniform that represents them.
  8. My favorite city in Italy is Rome. I love Rome!
  9. Of all my team mates, I am closest with Piergiorgio Bucci.
  10. My favorite food is my mother’s lasagna.

-As told my NF Style