From a Princely hobby horse to a renowned international setting: A brief history of equestrianism in Monaco

Jumping International Monte-Carlo

What was merely a Grimaldi family hobby has blossomed into a thriving equestrian scene in Monaco, culminating in the establishment of the Jumping Monte-Carlo tournament. 

Equestrian has come a long way in Monaco in a relatively short period of time. The prestigious Jumping International de Monte-Carlo, part of the Longines Global Champions Tour, has only been around since 2006, and will this month celebrate its 18th edition.

The history of equestrian within the Principality as a whole isn’t quite so recent, nor is it so ancient. Princes Caroline of Monaco took an interest in horse riding, an interest inherited by her daughter, Charlotte Casiraghi.

Whilst the sport was an interest within the Princely family, it was only in 1995 that the Monaco Equestrian Federation was created. Madame Diane Fissore was, and continues to be, a key proponents within the Principality’s equestrain scene, and her work, alongside that of secretary general Eric Wauters, led to the creation of the institution.

The Princely family – organisers and participants

Fissore was once again instrumental in yet another momentous occasion in the history of equestrianism in Monaco. The President of the Monaco Equestrian Federation collaborated with Olympic gold medalist rider Jan Tops to bring the Longines Global Champions Tour to Monaco, a dream which became a reality back in 2006.

Princess Caroline would become an honorary president of the event, a title inherited by Charlotte Casiraghi since 2010. Whilst Casiraghi has, and continues to be, a key figure in the running of the Jumping International de Monte-Carlo, she has also been a competitor, and a winner.

Photo source: LGCT

Whilst Casiraghi hasn’t raced since 2017, she raced 219 times on the Global Champions Tour, winning twice in that time, with both victories coming in a successful 2014 season.

As well as winning gold in Paris, she also took the top step of the podium at home, in Monaco, in the Pro/Am race. Winning on the sand of Monaco is no easy task. Of the 17 editions that have so far taken place in Monaco, there has only been one repeat winner. American rider Richard Spooner has won the tournament on three occasions (2008, 2009, 2013), each time riding Cristallo.

Richard Spooner reigns over Port Hercules

Whilst there has been a diffident winner in (almost) each edition, last year, for the first time, there was a repeat podium with Max Kühner, Kenny Darragh and Olivier Philppaerts all finishing on the podium in 2021 and 2022. The latter has finished third both times, whilst the former two have traded wins.

“Over these past 16 years, our common passion for horses and show jumping has never waned. Sixteen years which have seen the Jumping International de Monte Carlo grow and perpetuate, while reinventing itself on the occasion of each edition,” said Casiraghi upon the conclusion of the 2022 edition.

Horse riding remains, relatively speaking, one of the more novel sports in the Principality, but through the creation of the federation, it is one that has grown considerably. The hosting of the Jumping International de Monte-Carlo from 29th June- 1st July, an iconic venue on the Global Champions Tour, is a symbol of the prosperousness of equestrianism within the Principality.


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Photo source: LGCT