U.S. Grand Prix rider Dr. Cesar Parra signed an exciting partnership pact with Nicoletta Ghribi of GK Horses, in Italy on 19 June 2015. The agreement entails an extensive collaboration between Parra and Ghribi on various levels, enabling the American rider to focus fully on his sports career.
The Swiss born and Italian based Nicoletta Mettel Ghribi is married to a highly successful entrepreneur in the oil and cotton business who has a heart for sport. A former Swiss champion in swimming, Nicoletta also has a passion for horses and is highly involved in the Italian equestrian world.
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 partnership between Ghribi and Parra is a dream scenario for the Colombian born rider.
"Finally I am in a situation where I do not have pressure from owners to sell horses or have instant results. I can concentrate on riding the horses and develop long-lasting partnerships with them. I have always said that it is not fair to put horses on a time schedule in the training, now I can take all the time I need. I am so happy about this," an excited Parra told Eurodresssage. "Also I can continue my dream of helping young professionals develop in the sport.”
Over the years Piaffe Performance has helped to develop riders who are enjoying success in their own right. Successful professional riders such as Katie Riley, Kevin Kohmann, Claudia Arnold, Nadine Burberl, Carlos Munoz, Carlos Nieto, Thomas Wagner, Emily Wagner, Dominique Cassavetis, Anna Stovall and many others have all spent time at Parra’s Performance Farm. Also many Junior and Young riders who have been successful in National and International Championships riders have been part of the program, such as Nicolas Torres (2012 North American Junior Riders Champion), Julie Mckean (2006 North American Junior Rider Team Gold, Individual Silver and Kur Gold medal winner); Nikki Levy, 2002 NAYRC team bronze) as well as the 2011 U.S. Pony and 2013 U.S. Junior Champion and the 2003 NAYRC team gold and individual silver medallist.
“It makes me so happy to see riders who have spent time with us successful in their own careers. I really get a lot of joy watching the younger riders mature into successful professionals or top show riders and horse people,” remarked Parra.
The joint Parra-GK Horses project was officially launched at the headquarters of the Italian equestrian federation in the presence of chair Vittorio Orlandi. Ghribi will also be supporting national equestrian sport in Italy, with special focus on helping young dressage athletes make it to the top.
Nicoletta explained,"the world of sport is too often overwhelmed by economic interest in pursuit of high performance sport at any cost. 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.
“Under Cesar’s guidance, GK Horses drew up an events programme of intermediate importance with a view to all the stages leading up to Tokyo 2020. There is a long term collaboration planned, 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.
Cesar and Nicoletta have a shared vision of the future that they have been shaping over the last 3 years. “With Cesar Parra we are talking about a rider and trainer who has worked, over his long career, with the most important German trainers from the classical school and who has reached great international heights,” Nicoletta remarked. “Being able to observe, on the one hand, a young athlete 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. Cesar will make sure that the interpretation of the sport reflects a propriety and loyalty, which are testimony to the essential values that we have within the GK Horses team.”
Photos © Tutto Dressage - private
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