In Monaco, when Diane surprises us on the princely port of Hercules organizing a 5 stars contest, it may seem pharaonic but for Diane it is a question of structure, organization and sponsorship.
What is your personal background?
My father was a rider and he passed on his passion to me. I was riding a horse a 5 years old so it was natural for me to follow a competitive course. However, organizing equestrian events was not the same at all. I have studied law and I am a basic lawyer. Eric Wauters has suggested that I invest myself in the organization of a jumping competition in Monaco. We have created an equestrian federation of which I am still the President to this day. This competition has become the third sporting event of the year thanks also to the complicity and partnership of the Longines Global Champions Tour and Jan Tops, faithful for many years, when I agreed to work on this project. I was very young and also very surprised because of the complexity of the site who did not really fit itself to the organization of a competition. At the time I was not thinking of making it permanent in my career, it was more of a life journey; then it became permanent, more and more established.
Did your legal profession help you manage the competition?
Yes of course! The law leads to everything! It gives a mental structure, a way to think,t o envision, to speak. It teaches us to be organized and it is the basis of everything! Structure and organization!
How long does it take you to organize such an event?
The search for sponsors, for example, requires an immediate and constant investigation for the following year, as do other departments.
Did Prince Rainier support equestrian projects in Monaco?
At the time, yes! Now, it is the entire family. They are completely passionate about horses.Every year, we have always benefited from their support and presence according to their disposition and their busy schedule.
How do you bring 200 horses to the port?
The jumping takes place on the public road in the center of the city. The road is not close for the event and we put a sense of honor that all of this happens in security and calm, without disturbing anyone. It is also a guarantee of continuity for our contest: it is complicated because we can not block the traffic and disturb the life of the residents.It is an exchange of good procedures. The Monegasques are flexible and they are accustomed to all kinds of original events.
Do riders come from every continent?
Yes, we have all nations, the riders come with their families and their owners.
Are there many americans?
Yes, absolutely! Jennifer Gates has been coming for several years, Georgina Blomberg also. Every year, american and non european riders come at some time in Europe for the 5 stars events that are very numerous.
Are you still on the same dates?
I did not choose the dates, I am held by the city and the town hall. I succeed to the F1 Grand Prix and I have no other solution than to conform to the calendar of the city with its many events. In Monaco there is always something on the Port. The jumping always happens between two events: the F1 Grand Prix and the Monaco Yacht Show, but the date is still excellent!
Do the riders make the circuit Saint-Tropez, Cannes and Monaco?
Yes, most of them. The dates are close to another, which allows you to easily participate in these 3 great contests without having to travel too much.
Do you have any plans for the future?
Yes! Of course I do! I have a few ideas in gestation. They are for the moment not realizable but we can still dream about it! it always takes a lot of founds and you have to be ready and well prepared to organize such beautiful big events in France.I have organized important competitions in my life, circuits from 2 to 3 weeks, but I did not find enough passion to satisfy myself in this activity. I only kept the Monaco jumping event.
Are you still riding?
Yes, I always ride. I had stopped a little bit, my horse being injured, but the course of life makes that from times to times we have other priorities and I ride as soon as my occupations allow me to.
You have children, do they ride?
My children ride, but they don’t anymore. Horse riding takes a lot of time, it is constant, it is a life style! It is difficult to do as an amateur too and it is an expensive sport! ●
Photo Diane Fissore > V. Von Zitzewit