A 120-km itinerary for over 430 horses in the park
by Mark Taylor, ph. Archivio Toscana Endurance Lifestyle
The fifth edition of Toscana Endurance Lifestyle took place on the racecourse of San Rossore, a place full of history and especially devoted to horse riding disciplines. The vast areas just out of Pisa, also called “horse town” thanks to the richness of the estate of San Rossore and the regional park Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli, have also become “endurance house” for the most important worldwide event in 2019 which included three races of the highest levels: World Championship of young, under-21 horse riders, the World Championship for young horses and the Festival dedicated to the sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and emir of Dubai. The three races took place along an itinerary of 120 kilometres. The track included dirt roads, fields with grass and sand guaranteeing maximum safety and absolute well-being of the horses with large parts of the track being in the shade. A large-scale project, organized by Gianluca Laslicia’s team, a team world champion himself in 2005, shared with the International Equestrian Federation and fully supported by two main sponsors of worldwide fame such as Meydan and Azizi Developments. About 400 people worked for this event where 35 nations and over 430 horses took part. The park, ex-estate of the House of Savoy, was the summer residence of the President of the Republic from 1956 to 1999 while in this new century it is the property of Regione Toscana who has given it to the Ente Parco Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli to manage. The estate spreads over about 10 thousand hectares on the coast of the provinces of Pisa and Lucca including the municipalities of Pisa and Lucca, Viareggio, San Giuliano Terme, Vecchiano, Massarosa and Livorno. It is the natural habitat of 587 species of vascular plants, over 1400 species of invertebrates, 15 species of dragonflies, 90 species of birds which nest there and 105 those which winter there. The race course, founded in the 19th century and home to sporting events, has also been dedicated to the training of purebred horses for some time now, protagonists of galloping, flat and obstacle races. For the whole 5 days of the racing event, life in the sporting village was particularly interesting and rich in glamour this year, “decked out” for the first time with 3 monumental sculptures by Park Eun Sun. One was “Colonna accrescimento infinito IV” in green and yellow granite and “Disconnessione e continuità” in green and black granite and Steve Tepas with “La fuerza, the force” in white marble from Monte Altissimo. This art initiative was curated by Henraux and its president Paolo Carli.