A Dressage
Come True

27 March 2017

Competing at the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals is a major achievement for any equestrian athlete.

But as well as the top names that you’d expect to see at this pinnacle of equestrian perfection, there are those that are competing at the Final and representing their country for the first time in history.  


No pressure then!  


One of these first-timers is Argentine Dressage athlete, Maria Florencia Manfredi and her incredible horse, Bandurria Kacero.  


With her ever-present smile, Maria tells us that this is "A dream come true" for her to compete as the first athlete from her country at the FEI World Cup™ Final in Omaha.  



Bandurria Kacero is a very special horse

She is passionate about horses and has been since she was a child, starting to ride at 5 years of age.

Not too surprising for kids with horse-loving parents, but Florencia’s family had no interest in equestrian sports at all. She got her experience for working at local barns and stables around her hometown in Buenos Aires. 


She is the only one in her family to ride, but her family have been a driving force behind her, supporting her every step of the way.  Without this support, she tells us, she would not be “making history” for her country in Omaha.  Florencia was proud to tell us about her mother waking up at the crack of dawn to take her to her horse shows.


She does not come from a wealthy background, and has worked hard every day to make her dream come true.  Amazingly, she doesn’t even have a groom and looks after her horse by herself, with the help of her trainer, Enrique Sztyrle, aka "Bocha" who has been by her side these past 10 years.





The horse Florencia has been partnered with is something very special.  Bandurria Kacero - also an Argentine horse - was originally tagged as a jumping horse but just didn’t do too well at it - so they gave Dressage a go and the 11 year old young gelding found his sport.


Florencia’s horse, Bandurria Kacero, was trained from zero to World Cup level in just 4 years


This is even more impressive considering that good Dressage training can be difficult to come by in Argentina.


It looks like the intense, close relationship with these two have has been a vital ingredient for their success.




Tango music is in Florencia’s blood and she grew up immersed in it.

So it’s no surprise to learn that using well-known tunes is a fundamental part of her Dressage routine, and one that makes her stand out over the rest.  


The sheer enjoyment that she and Bandurria Kacero get from performing to the music of her country is a joy to watch, and adds that special “something” that has sent her all the way to Omaha!


Always rooting for an underdog, we will be cheering along with the rest of Argentina when Florencia and Bandurria Kacero take to the arena this week.




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