- 07 Sep 1960
- Rome 1960
Raimondo d'Inzeo rides to victory in battle of the brothers
Italy's Raimondo d'Inzeo was destined for a long Olympic career – but Rome 1960 was to be the highlight. He was already something of a sporting veteran, having competed at his first Olympics over a decade before, in London in 1948. In 1956, he had won individual and team silver in Stockholm and now, at the age of 35, he was keen to add a gold to his collection.
D'Inzeo was born a little north of Rome, and grew up surrounded by horses. His father was the leading instructor with the most renowned regiment in the Italian cavalry. Young Raimondo was initially scared of horses, but felt he had to persevere in order to keep up the conversation with his father, and gradually came to love both the animals themselves and the sport of equestrianism.
As a serving officer in the Italian military police, he always wore his uniform while competing, cutting an impressive figure in the arena. His style was less about dominating his horse, and more to do with man and mount working in partnership. And in Rome his partnership with Posillipo was as near to perfection as seemed possible.
He did face a few strong challenges, and one from a very familiar opponent. Italy's other competitor was his brother, Piero, who was two years older and had also competed in each edition of the Games since 1948. Both arrived at the Rome Games in great form. Raimondo had won the 1960 world title, while Piero had been European champion the previous year.
Raimondo was peerless in the first round, though, and was the only rider to produce a clear round. Argentina’s Naldo Dasso picked up only four faults to stand second while Piero was a further four faults back in joint third place.
The second round saw Piero notch a further eight faults to give him a total of 16 points. Raimondo couldn't repeat the faultless performance of his first round, but his 12 faults were still good enough to give him first place, with Piero finishing in second. It was the first time in Olympic history that brothers had taken gold and silver.
The pair then added bronze in the team competition, a feat they later repeated at the 1964 and 1972 Games. By the time they took to the Olympic stage for the final time at the 1976 Games, Raimondo was 51 and Piero 53. They were the first athletes in any sport to take part in eight editions Games.