Rolex Grand Prix in Rome: The Winner Is André Thieme Riding DSP Chakaria


The Rolex Grand Prix, the most esteemed equestrian show jumping event in Rome and Italy, crowns this year’s winner the German rider André Thieme, who triumphs with a clear round in 42.64.

Rolex Grand Prix
Ph. Sport e Salute/Simone Ferraro
The Rolex Grand Prix (two round competition, h 160, € 500,000) is the flagship event of the CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena – Master d’Inzeo showjumping competition, which celebrated its 90th edition this year.

Who is André Thieme

The winner of the 2023 Rolex Grand Prix is the current European champion for winning gold in Riesenbeck in 2021, riding DSP Chakaria, the 13-year-old saurian female which showed herself in splendid form at the Rolex Grand Prix this year.

André Thieme has achieved success at both national and international levels. He was born on June 26, 1975, in Plau am See, Germany. Thieme began riding at a young age and quickly developed a passion for equestrian sport. Throughout his career, André Thieme has competed in numerous prestigious competitions and represented Germany in various international events. He has been known for his skill, determination, and strong partnership with his horses.

One of Thieme’s notable achievements came in 2019 when he won the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, one of the most renowned equestrian events in the world. Riding his horse, Contanga 3, Thieme displayed exceptional talent and precision to secure this prestigious victory. André Thieme has also represented Germany in Nations Cup competitions, contributing to the success of the German team. He has consistently showcased his abilities as a top-class show jumping rider and earned a reputation for his consistent performances and sportsmanship.

André Thieme happily declared at the final press conference in Piazza di Siena:

It is really unbelievable, it is a special day: to win the Rolex Grand Prix in Rome at my first participation in a competition in Italy, with my wife and daughter in the middle of the crowd at this fantastic location! I love my mare, Chakaria, more than my wife. Fortunately it is a reality that she accepts…. Our team leader (Otto Becker – ed) would like me to participate in the European Championship in Milan, after the individual gold and team silver won in 2021. With Chakaria my long-term goal is still the Paris 2024 Olympics, however”.

Germany thus rises to twelve successes in the Rolex Grand Prix in Rome, achieved with eleven different riders (Franke Sloothaak was the only one to ride, in 1995 and 1996). For 48-year-old Thieme this was his first participation in Italy and therefore his first one at the CSIO of Piazza di Siena.

Thanks to his victory in the Rolex Grand Prix, André Thieme was also awarded the special Master d’Inzeo 2023 prize. In the decisive second round that saw thirteen competitors in the field, the podium was completed by Sweden’s Jens Fredricson, second with Markan Cosmopolit (pen. 0/0; 45.18), and Brazil’s Stephan de Freitas Barcha, third with Chevaux Primavera Montana Impero Egipcio (pen. 0/0; 47.46). Two Italian riders made it to the second round: eighth place for Emanuele Gaudiano with Chalou (pen. 0/8; 43.08) and ninth one for Francesca Ciriesi with Cape Coral (pen. 4/4, 43.50).

Rolex Grand Prix: A Prestigious Event In World Show Jumping

The Rolex Grand Prix in Rome is one of the most prestigious competitions in the world of show jumping. The competion attracts top riders, elite horses, and passionate spectators from around the globe. The 2023 edition of this thrilling event has been, as usually, a remarkable display of equestrian talent, grace, and sportsmanship.

The CSIO Rome Rolex Grand Prix is part of the prestigious Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) circuit, known for its high-profile competitions held in iconic locations. The LGCT brings together the world’s best show jumpers, and Rome serves as a breathtaking backdrop for the culmination of this extraordinary series.

The event typically takes place at the stunning Piazza di Siena, which is located within the vast and picturesque Villa Borghese gardens. This iconic venue has a rich history in equestrian sport and adds an air of grandeur to the competition. Its natural beauty and elegant setting make it an ideal stage for top-class show jumping.

The Grand Prix itself is the pinnacle of the CSIO Rome event. It features a challenging course designed by a renowned course designer, requiring riders and their equine partners to showcase their skills, precision, and athleticism. The fences are meticulously crafted, incorporating various technical elements and obstacles that demand careful navigation and faultless jumping.

This event is a great success in terms of attendance year after year. Spectators enjoy an electrifying atmosphere as they gather to witness the world’s elite riders and horses tackle the demanding course. The CSIO Rome Rolex Grand Prix always attracts a star-studded lineup, with renowned equestrians from multiple nations vying for victory. The event is not only a showcase of top-level competition but also a celebration of the unique bond between horse and rider.

The CSIO Rome Rolex Grand Prix is also known for its tradition of honoring excellence, as the winning rider receives the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix title and a fine wristwatch. The Rolex brand has long been associated with equestrian sports, and its sponsorship adds to the event’s prestige.

In addition to the Grand Prix, the CSIO Rome event features a range of other exciting competitions, including team events and supporting classes that highlight rising talents in show jumping. These competitions provide an opportunity for emerging riders to compete alongside their esteemed counterparts and gain invaluable experience.

Beyond the thrilling competitions, the CSIO Rome Rolex Grand Prix offers an array of entertainment and activities for spectators to enjoy, such as the Nations Cup, or the Six Bars, won by the Italian Emilio Bicocchi with Flinton and John Whitaker with Green Grass, surpassing the remarkable height of 1.95 on the final obstacle.

Rolex Grand Prix
John Whitaker and Emilio Bicocchi – Ph. ©Sport e Salute/Simone Ferraro
Visitors can also explore the various vendor booths offering equestrian merchandise, enjoy delicious local cuisine, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere created by fellow equestrian enthusiasts. The CSIO Rome Rolex Grand Prix is an unforgettable equestrian experience that combines world-class sport, breathtaking settings, and a passionate audience. It continues to cement its status as a must-attend event on the international show jumping calendar, attracting riders and spectators alike who share a deep appreciation for the artistry and athleticism of equestrian sport.

The next international event for riding enthusiasts in Italy is the Longines Global Champions Tour of Rome, which will take place at the Circus Maximus from 15 to 17 September.

Denisa Kucik

Featured Image: Next to the podium, from left: Stefan Müller (General Manager Rolex Italia), Alessandro Onorato (Assessore Grandi Eventi, Sport, Turismo e Moda di Roma Capitale), Giovanni Malagò (CONI President), Marco Di Paola (FISE President), Vito Cozzoli (President and CEO Sport e Salute SpA) – ph. Sport e Salute / S.Ferraro