The Stud

A fortunate crossroads of destinies

Mario and Clarice Incisa della Rocchetta are united by a great passion for thoroughbred horses that proceeds their passion for wine. This passion, as well as their encounter with Tesio gave rise to the Dormello-Olgiata stud farm and the myth of Ribot.
Ribot was not only, together with Nearco, the greatest bearer of the Dormello Olgiata breed but he was also the greatest champion of the last century, who was able to win the enthusiasm of even the least enthusiastic, contributing to the pride of being Italian in a dark period of history.

“This is what makes Ribot unique. His international fame, his style, the passion he has sparked in each of us has meant that today, even a stranger to racing can recognise a great horse in the name of Ribot. ”

Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta

Federico Tesio and The Tesio - Incisa Company

The birth of the Dormello Olgiata breed

After finishing his studies at the Real Collegio di Moncalieri in Piedmont, a young Tesio set off on a world tour that lasted roughly six years. He often talks about China and says that he rode in the Peking Derby. He often tells of his journey through Patagonia, crossing lands he had never visited, to visit one of his teachers and astronomer Father Francesco Denza
On his return home, he married Lydia Fiori di Serramezzana, and in 1896 invested all his money in a stud farm. Dormello, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, was chosen for its temperate climate.
The first results came early. He won his first Italian Derby in 1911 with Guido Reni. Between 1904 and 1966 Tesio and his stable, which would later be called Razza Dormello-Olgiata, won 24 times the Italian Derby, an unbeaten record to this day.
Tesio met Clarice and Mario and they became business partners in 1932. The horses that had previously been under the name of Tesio, now ran as Tesio - Incisa, and later raced under the colours of the Dormello-Olgiata breed, a name derived from the two estates where the horses stayed.
The first version was a blue jacket, St Andrew’s cross and red cap, before the jacket became white. The current colours of the Dormello - Olgiata are red and white.

The Dormello - Olgiata’s stud

Ribot, the search for the perfect horse.

Ribot's predecessors, Cavalier d’Arpino, Bellini and his father Tenerani, were great champions. Nearco was, however, the most outstanding of them all. He was born in 1935 and represents perfection for Federico Tesio (his owner) as he possessed a mix of excellent skills on the race track and all the desired characteristics for horse breeding.
We can find Nearco’s heredity in many of the bloodlines and genealogies of important horses in the history of horse racing: a clear imprint of the Dormello Olgiata (RDO) breed. In 1949 Nearco is at the top of the stallion list.
Ribot, on the other hand, is remembered as the strongest horse in the world, with great respiratory capacity and temperament.
What Tesio was looking for was a horse that could win over all distances. Ribot was the crowning achievement of that search; however, unfortunately, he was unable to see his triumph”.

Nicolò Incisa

The horse of the 20th century


Undefeated in 16 races, he won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Arc de Triomphe twice. On 26 July 1999, in the Racing Post, an English horse racing newspaper, Tony Morris wrote:
‘The field starters at the 156 Arc de Triomphe were considered the strongest to date. Among Ribot’s challengers were the best horses from England, France, Ireland and America […] But for all that talent put up against him there was no match’.
Ribot beated his rivals in the straight, leaving them in place like a bullet fired from a rifle. Many people present that day had the impression that they had seen the horse of the century. Ribot became the benchmark by which other aspirants must measure themselves by.
Federico Tesio died on 1 May 1954, unable to see the glory of Ribot, dubbed the horse of the 20th century.

The training centre in Bolgheri

Mario Incisa is in charge

The Olgiata property was refurbished by Mario Incisa and his wife Clarice, where the great horses like Ribot, Botticelli and Braque, all worked as stallions. Then the Olgiata property was sold and in the cold season the thoroughbreds were moved from the cold Dormello to the bright Bolgheri. A magnificent training centre was built here with a track running alongside the Carducci’s cypresses. For Mario Incisa, the human touch has absolute value in the management of a farm. He personally oversees the decorum of the premises and ensures the satisfaction of the people working there. Tesio had a deep knowledge of horses and their genealogies, Incisa follows in his footsteps and keeps the horses at the very highest level.
The History

The new generation: Orietta, Enrico and Nicoló Incisa della Rocchetta

The passion of the children

After the death of Federico Tesio, the Dormello-Olgiata breed continued to win under the leadership of Mario Incisa della Rocchetta.
The three children of Mario Incisa, Orietta, Enrico and Nicolò are driven by the same passion as their father and play an important role in the development of Dormello-Olgiata.
Nicolò Incisa, Mario’s third son, possesses his father’s qualities: a charming temperament, a subtle irony, the ability to look far into the future, and of course, a love for thoroughbreds In 1962 John Hislop, breeder and owner of the world champion Brigadier Gerard, wrote in the preface of a book on the Dormello - Olgiata breed:
"When those of my generation come to be asked by their grandchildren 'Who was the greatest breeder, the outstanding sire, the best racehorse of your time?' the answer will probably be 'Tesio, Nearco, Ribot'."
More than 40 years on, that probability has become a certainty.


Where thoroughbreds train and race

Since 2016, Franca Vittadini has been accompanying Marchesi Nicolò Incisa as his racing manager. Amazon and breeder, is the daughter of Carlo Vittadini who was the owner of the Beech House Stud in England (where Nearco, the patriarch of the modern stud, lived and is now laid to rest).
Today, the horses always train in Bolgheri carrying on the historical bloodlines. Among the most significant results in recent years, are: Lamaire, who in 2019 won the Oaks of Italy, the most important group race of three-year-old females; Badram, Ornais who won Listed races in 2020 and 2021; Tempesti who, in 2022 took second place for a fall at the Italian Derby in Rome..
As of Today, the training centre houses around 30 thoroughbreds.

Attending with professionalism

Care before and after the race

With a careful study of the history of the mares and their characteristics, the most suitable stallions are selected to improve the breed, and the mares are sent to them. The foals are born in England, Ireland, and France and, after weaning, are taken to Italy, Dormello, and later to Bolgheri, once they are ready for taming and training.
The horses of the Dormello - Olgiata breed train in an almost magical landscape, away from the confusion of the city racecourses and, after the race, they return to the calm of Bolgheri, with its good climate. Respect for physical and mental health is at the centre of proper training work. The careful and meticulous observation of the horse in the stable and outside serves to understand what is best for them.