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 meeting in 1906 with an Oxford professor, who was reading a text concerning Mendel’s theories. Tesio understood the importance of the transmission of genetic traits in reproduction. Thanks to the studies concerning the pedigrees of the Derby winners and the Oaks winners, Federico Tesio later sensed that the ability to run was not only characteristic of the mares; this led to continually renew the families in his barn and designed a model farm, discovering in Dormello in Dormelletto (Dormello), in Novara, an estate with a soft and moist soil, and in 1898 the stable “Federico Tesio” saw the light. This place, along with Villa Tesio, will become the historic seat 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 amounting 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 a new boost to the imports of broodmares which came from abroad.

Curiosity: his wife, Lidia Fiori, personally filled the genealogical register of the broodmares until 1942, called “Libro rosso di Dormello” (“Red Book of Dormello”), which is still kept in the villa. Nowadays, a lot of horse racing, squares or city streets take his or his wife’s name. Among the most important races, it is possible to remember the “Palo Federico Tesio” in Baltimore (Maryland), the “Premio Lydia Tesio”, which takes place in Capannelle (Rome) and the “Premio Federico Tesio” at the Ippodromo San Siro Hippodrome in Milan. The Ippodromo del Galoppo in Turin, which is closed now, is named Federico Tesio.

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