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Federico Tesio

Federico Tesio
Born January 17, 1869
Turin, Italy
Died May 22, 1954
Occupation Businessman:
Racehorse owner/breeder

Federico Tesio (January 17, 1869 – May 22, 1954) was an Italian statesman and one of the most important breeders of Thoroughbreds in the history of horse racing.

Born in Turin, Federico Tesio obtained a degree in science and architecture. He served in the Italian Army during World War I and in 1939 was appointed to the Italian Senate.

In 1898 he and his wife Lydia Tesio established the Dormello Stud in Dormelletto, Novara on 19 hectares on the banks of Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. While much of the credit for breeding successes is given to him, his wife played an important role in the operation. An owner/breeder who also trained many of his horses, Tesio was a leading horse breeder in Europe for fifty years. He bred several undefeated champions including Nearco, Ribot and Cavaliere d’Arpino, whom he considered the best horse that he ever bred. [1] Donatello II was a certain winner of the Prix du Jockey Club but in his only defeat for Tesio, the jockey was instructed to take the lead, and lost. He bred 22 winners of the Derby Italiano, and was either an owner or part-owner of 16 of them. [1]

One of the most important facts seems, that Federico Tesio was not only the breeder and owner of the horses, but also the trainer. Probably, there is no owner-trainer in the world with the same record in classic races and big international races like Tesio is. And there is also no second trainer in the world with a record of probably 21 trained derby winners.

In 1947, Federico Tesio published a book titled Puro-Sangue - Animale da Esperimento (The Pure Blood - An Animal of Experimentation) , It was reissued in 2005 in an English translation titled Tesio: In His Own Words which was published by Russell Meerdink Co. Ltd (ISBN 978-0929346762).

The Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland is named in his honor. The Premio Lydia Tesio race at the Capannelle Racecourse in Rome is named for his wife and the Premio Federico Tesio for him at San Siro Racecourse in Milan.


  1. Talmadge Phelps, John and Frank , Dormello-Olgiata, 1961-1962, Derby Publishing Co., Milan, 1962


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