International Horse Racing Contest of Piazza di Siena

piazza di siena1The amazing view of grass once again in the oval of Piazza di Siena (the original surface had been replaced with white sand in 2007) from 2018 is the first significant step. This return to the original structure of Piazza di Siena’s oval, as designed at the end of the 18th century by Prince Marcantonio Borghese, sends a message not only to the city, but to the whole world, together with decisive support for Rome’s artistic heritage.

From 2017 Rome’s historic CSIO embarking on a new and exciting chapter in its history. The project approved by CONI (Italian National Olympic Committee) and FISE (Italian Equestrian Federation) was developed to emphasise a different type of event, which apart from sporting excellence, focuses strongly on enhancing and protecting the environment in the beautiful Villa Borghese Park. These guidelines will be shown at their best in the 2019 event scheduled for May 23rd to May 26th.

Bringing Piazza di Siena back to its former glory helps to rediscover the sense of immortality in a single, great work of art. In this setting, horses and riders will be an extraordinary fresco in movement, an ‘exhibition’ of technique, science and the art of equitation. The message that the

Organising Committee is sending can therefore be summarised in one word; reintegration. Reintegration of a historic setting, Piazza di Siena, in its natural cradle, the Park of Villa Borghese, as it was once envisioned, designed and finally created, returning it to its original architectural glory.
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Feeling responsible for a unique site inevitably calls for the creation of something that is equally distinctive. This sense of responsibility and reintegration regarding the original values of Piazza di Siena in its setting in the Villa Borghese, means that the Organising Committee is faced with an even greater responsibility towards the entire equestrian sports movement. This responsibility means creating an event that is unique in the world, suited to the site hosting it, with 2019 top prize-money (€900,000), a technical level of the highest standard and new top-level partners who have chosen to support the Organising Committee in this innovative, extraordinary adventure.

The uniqueness of the Piazza di Siena Horse Show will be at the service of equestrian sport. The goal, for now quietly whispered, is to make the Roman Show what Wimbledon is for tennis, a unique and legendary event benefitting the world of equestrian sport.
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Piazza di Siena takes its name from the city of origin of one of the most ancient and noble families of Rome: the Borghese. At the end of 16th century, Prince Marcantonio Borghese commissioned architects Mario and Antonio Asprucci to create a new location, one able to remind him of the places he loved most. He wished, in fact, to bring to the city of Rome the traditional popular celebrations that had been enjoyed since the Middle Ages in Tuscany. Unfortunately Prince Marcantonio died before it was completed.


Piazza di Siena’s debut in equestrian events started in 1922, but it was only in 1926 that the International Equestrian Federation included the Roman competition in the international calendar and the official listing of the Rome CSIO began. After three editions held at a different location, in 1929 the horse show returned in Piazza di Siena. Some of the most important events in the history of Italian equestrian sports took place in this public park, considered the largest and more elegant among Rome’s: unforgettable shows, with extraordinary leading riders such as Bettoni, D’Inzeo and Graziano Mancinelli as well as other standard bearers of this noble sport.

The horse show was suspended only between 1941 and 1946, during World War IIr. In 1960, while Piazza di Siena hosted equestrian events for the Rome Olympic Game, the C.S.I.O. was moved to Turin. In 1998 instead, the International Official Horse Show was replaced by the World Equestrian Games held in the Flaminio Stadium. In 2000, however, Piazza di Siena had the privilege of organizing two CSIOs, one in May and one in October, hosting the final of the Super Samsung League.

In 2003 Piazza di Siena’s International Horse Show became one of the eight best international shows in the Top League and since 2013 became part of the FEI Nations Cup Series Division1.

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