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GK Horses unveiled. Parra and Tiozzo with the Ghribis

The riders of Nicoletta Ghribi’s team are practicing in New Jersey and preparing the new upcoming season.


Leonardo Tiozzo smiles after his first CDI's Grand Prix victory this year in Verona Sommacampagna (photo © tuttoDRESSAGE.it / Marco M. Racca).

In the past years GK Horses has conducted its activities in a low key and explorative fashion. Now, however, the group has decided to boost its participation and commitment in the national and international dressage circuit. 

The GK Horses project was recently officially launched in Rome at the headquarters of F.I.S.E. the Italian Equestrian Federation in the presence of chairman Vittorio Orlandi.

Nicoletta Ghribi with the chair of the Italian Equestrian Federation Vittorio Orlandi (photo © Marco M. Racca).

“The world of sport is too often overwhelmed by economic interest in pursuit of high performance sport at any cost.” Nicoletta Ghribi chair of GK Horses explained.  “This is reflection of society is unlikely to feed the hopes of young people in sport or in life.” Her philosophy is inspired by values profoundly rooted in her soul, and her hope is that this approach will not only send out a strong message to equestrian sport, but also resonate more widely in the sporting world in general.

“There is a long term collaboration planned with both Cesar and Leonardo, so that the rider is not in a rush to prepare his horses and achieve scores. We believe that calmness and serenity are necessary to create strong, cohesive combinations,” “Whomsoever comes into our team must first and foremost put respect for the horse and the rules as their principle value,” Nicoletta added.

The Ghribis aim and desire is to help riders mature and grow as riders and athletes, and cultivate this sense of loyalty and respect, until they become, not only a successful athlete, but also an upright person of great integrity.

Kamel Ghribi with Cesar Parra (photo © tuttoDRESSAGE / Marco M. Racca).

“Being able to observe, on the one hand, a young athlete like Leonardo Tiozzo performing on a variety of horses, while on the other, watching Cesar Parra, a wonderful man of human, sporting and technical depth, was one of the most touching sporting moments I have felt in a long time – perhaps because of its unrepeatable uniqueness.” Nicoletta said about the trip in New Jersey where both Cesar and Leonardo met for the first time back in May.

Nicoletta Ghribi, a former Swiss swimming champion now based in Italy, is married to Kamel Ghribi a successful entrepreneur in the oil business, and has found her sporting passion in international equestrian circles.

“I am so excited to be in a situation where I can concentrate on riding horses and develop long-lasting partnerships. I think it is every riders’ dream to have the ability to take all the time they need and know that the horses will not be sold. It is the best way to develop a partnership with the horse.” Explained Cesar Parra, an Olympian for Colombia and now representing the United States of America, gained a team Gold at the Panamerican Games in 2011 with the U.S. squad.

“I met Nicoletta three years ago,” Parra continued, “on a phone call that was supposed to take five minutes— we stayed on the phone for two hours. It was clear from the start that we share a vision for our sport. Our priorities are in line with developing the beauty of the horse without the stress of a timeline,” said Parra.

“I just recently entered this new family”, explained Leonardo Tiozzo, who is trained by Christoph Koschel, while in Aachen  for the European Championship where he was the youngest and higly FEI ranked member of the Italian national team, “With Nicoletta the feeling has been  immediately great, we share the same ethical and moral  principles both toward sport and the animal wellbeing. I am so grateful to Nicoletta and her husband Kamel Ghribi for giving me this great opportunity.”

“I had the pleasure to meet already almost all the members of the GK Horses team in my first trip in the United States where in New Jersey I visited Piaffe Performance, the wonderful barn of Cesar Parra, where I also had the chance to ride some horses of the Ghribi’s. The first approach has just been awesome. We will talk more in depth about the show program after Aachen.Concluded Leonardo a former YR Italian champion and now a top GP rider for his country that already represented at Caen’s WEG last year.

Cesar Parra has recently competed at  the 2015 Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage National Championships  at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois while Leonardo Tiozzo, trained by Christoph Koschel, was at Aachen’s European Championship.

As per Cesar Parra Facebook page Van de Man, the Grand Prix  horse Cesar Parra competed for few years and at the World Cup Final in 2014 in Lyon, has entered the family of horses owned by the Ghribis being renamed GK Van the Man.

Both Cesar Parra and Leonardo Tiozzo have recently reached an agreement with the Ghribi’s that will assure both riders the opportunity to ride competitive horses with a long term commitment from their sponsor.

At the time we are writing Leonardo Tiozzo is  again in the United States getting more experience and feeling with the horses he will mount in the upcoming season, from this trip in the United States more news regarding the name of the horses and the show program for both riders are expected.