And she previously spent a couple months living in Texas with a friend. She has also competed in the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo, along with NBHA events, including the NBHA Youth World competition in 2011 and 2012.
But Riccardi said rodeos in America are different from those back home.
“I think it is a more competitive event, while in Italy, it’s more like demonstrations and it’s all about entertaining people,” she said.
“There are just a few rodeos in all of Europe. At the Cowboys Guest Ranch (her facility in her hometown of Voghera) we host five rodeos in one year and there is just another one in France, and that’s it.”
And even though she’s no stranger to the U.S., she does admit that it is a different lifestyle.
“It’s really hard to leave your usual life and get involved in a world opposite of yours,” she said. “Here it’s all so different. In Italy everything is really small and it’s all so close.”
Riccardi was raised as a child in Milan before her family moved to the smaller town, built a facility and a ranch--all focused on American life.
“We have an American restaurant, a saloon, a western store, a small hotel, a theme park with animals like bison, raccoons, horses and cows, and we have two outdoor arenas and an indoor arena with 1,000 seats where we host competitions,” said Riccardi.
“I’m excited for her and hope she does well, and I look forward to seeing her compete,” said Emmons. “If she does well, she will make an impact on our team. Otherwise, she brings attention to our team on an international basis.”
While she does love rodeo, it is not the passion Riccardi wants to pursue for the rest of her life.