The passion for horses has always been a part of my life. Growing up in Italy my family was involved in the race car business. My grandfather had one of the first Ferrari dealerships in Northern Italy. Our family built engines, raced, and sold cars across Italy. This business usually attracts young boys my age, but my heart was always with horses, the ones with four legs! When I was fourteen I started working on a horse ranch in Tuscany, and I traded my labor for the chance to learn about the horse business. The trainer I worked for was Marco Manzi. I slowly turned my passion into a full time job, working with Marco until 1994.
With the help of a horseshoeing friend, I started shoeing horses and learning the art of shoeing. I began working as an assistant trainer for a major Italian team, CISAL QH, along side an American trainer, Don Boyd. I worked with Don from 1994 to 1996. Then in 1997 Marco Formantin, Martin Larcombe, and I became trainers for CISAL QH.
As a young trainer I was inspired by winning the 1994 Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Reserve Champion. After many more successes in showing horses in the primary events, I was always a top competitor and finalist. In 1998 I started as an assistant to Bob Avila in Oregon, and stayed until the end of 2000, when out of necessity I had to return to Italy. I worked one year for CISAL QH and then three years as a trainer for AZ Ag Pollarini Piero, in Forli. For the next two years I trained for 23QH. Then I started out on my own training horses for the next three years until 2009.
One of the highlights in my career was in 2007, I was qualified for the NRCHA World Championship in the Open Bridle Class. I came to Stephenville, TX, made the final and finished in 7th place.
In 2009 I accepted a training and management position for a new ranch starting in California, Pira’s Cows and Horses. When we started there were only a few horses at the ranch, and much of my time as well as my wife Anna’s time, was spent building the physical facilities, organizing the ranch structure, and training horses. Slowly through my successes at shows, and at clinics I put on, my clientele grew. My clients after a short time started trusting and supporting me. We had over twenty-five Reining and Cow horses in training along with the ranch horses at Pira’s Cows and Horses. This venture has been a dream come true for myself, my wife Anna, our daughter Aurora and our son Riccardo Giorgio. In October 2016 we moved to Arizona for work along with Andrea Fappani; in January 2019 I finally realized my dream to train cow horses all day long in a gorgeous facility, Bandalero Ranch!
Today, I’m the head trainer for Rogers Heaven Sent Ranch, LLC., Don & Suzanne Rogers along with a few loyal customers who have supported me all along the way!
TIPS: NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS, WORK FOR IT!
Ricky Nicolazzia – NRCHA Results
2019 Stallion Stakes Open Two Rein TOP 5
2019 Sun Circuit Open Hackamore Circuit Champion
2019 Smart Boons Fence Work Challenge 6th place
2019 Celebration of Champions Tres Osos Int. Open Derby TOP 10
2019 SAQHA Open Two Rein Champion
2019 SAQHA Senior Cow Horse Champion
2018 AQHA World Show Level 2&3 Junior Cow Horse 5th Place
2018 NSHA Derby Int. Open Reserve Champion
2018 NSHA Derby Open 3rd Place
2018 NRCHA Derby Int. Open 4th Place
2018 NRCHA Derby Open 6th Place
2018 Sherri Gilkerson Memorial Open Hackamore Spectacular TOP 5
2017 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open & Int. Open TOP 10
2017 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open & In. Open Rein Work Champion