Italy dominated the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) European Championships, taking the first four places in the final rankings. And while 2015 Champion Denis Pini came close to making it two in a row, it was Pietro Valeri who went home as the new champion.
Riding Poundcake Deluxe (Cats Quixote Jack x Etta Rey x Dual Rey), Valeri took first place in the competition with a total score of 294.5 after two go-rounds.
“On Thursday, I completed a really good first round, with a score of 150 points. That put me in pole position. I just had to put in a solid performance today to keep my first place,” Valeri said just after his win. He did what he had to do to keep the lead with a 144.5 point second go score.
Valeri comes from Modena and has been a professional cutter for nearly 20 years. He breeds and trains cutting horses. This was his third time at Equita Lyon.
With scores of 294 and 293.5, Pini ultimately took second and third in the competition with HB Catandmouse (PT) (High Brow Cat x Colored Field Mouse [PT] x Color Me Smart [PT]) and All About Pep (Sweet Lil Pepto x Miss Dual Pep x Dual Pep). It is also worth noting the impressive performance of the French rider Gaétan Foulatier, from the Auvergne region, who took fifth and sixth place with Peeka Peps Cat, who scored a 289, and Achys Mickey Merada, who marked a 288.