Who was Federico Tesio….?

Everybody who loves horse racing cannot certainly ignore this name… Federico Tesio (Turin, January 17, 1869 – Milan, May 1, 1954) was an Italian breeder and politician. Even nowadays he is considered one of the most important English thoroughbred horse breeders in the history of Italian and international horse racing, and he is also recognized as the “Leonardo da Vinci of horse racing” or “The wizard of Dormello”. Federico Tesio has always looked for the “secret formula” in scientific literature to give birth to champion horses. From the chance encounter in 1906 with an Oxford professor who was reading a text on Mendel’s theories. Tesio understood the importance of the transmission of genetic traits in reproduction. Subsequently, thanks to the research on the pedigrees of the Derby winners and the Oaks winners, Federico Tesio sensed that the ability to run was not preserved in broodmares; this led continually renew the families in his stable and designed a model farm, discovering in Dormelletto (Dormello), in Novara, an estate with soft and moist soil, and in 1898 the “Federico Tesio” Stable was born . This place, along with Villa Tesio, will become the historic home of the last English breeding of the “Dormello-Olgiata” breed to which famous horses such as Nearco, Bellini, Donatello II and the famous Ribot belonged. Discover now all our trips, tours, holidays and horse trekking in Italy. In 1932, for a sum equal to 4 million lire, the Marquis Mario Incisa della Rocchetta bought 50 percent of the Tesio company which, since then, took the name of “Tesio-Incisa” and gave new impetus to imports of broodmares which came from abroad.

Curiosity: his wife, Lidia Fiori, personally filled the genealogical register of the broodmares until 1942, “Libro rosso di Dormello” (“Red Book of Dormello”), which is still preserved in the villa. Nowadays, a lot of horse racing, squares or city streets take their name from his or his wife’s name. Among the most important competitions we can mention the Federico Tesio pole in Baltimore (Maryland), the Lydia Tesio Prize which takes place at the Capannelle in Rome and the Federico Tesio Prize at the San Siro Hippodrome in Milan. The Turin Gallop Racecourse, closed today, is named Federico Tesio.

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