For Immediate Release
September 30, 2015

New York, NY – After five days of multi-disciplinary equestrian sport in Central Park’s Wollman Rink on Sept. 23-27, the Rolex Central Park Horse Show capped a successful and historic second-annual event on Sunday.

Wollman Rink was transformed in a matter of days to an international-level equestrian facility thanks to the work of Mark Bellissimo’s International Equestrian Group (IEG) and many New York City organizations, including New York City Parks and Recreation, Central Park Conservancy, The Office of the Mayor of New York City and the Trump Rink Organization.

Rolex Central Park Horse Show

The Rolex Central Park Horse Show

“Last year, we introduced this event to New York City and I am proud to see its growth this year. From the level of riders, to ticket sales and media attention, we made progress in every area,” said Bellissimo. “I have to thank my team at IEG and the many local groups that helped make this event possible. It is a huge undertaking and took hard work from every angle to make it a success.”

More than just a successful event, Bellissimo has plans to continue and expand the U.S. Open to be a true celebration of the horse in one of the world’s most exciting cities.

“We introduced the U.S. Open because we believe that it will turn into something spectacular. It’s our goal to expand its reach, educate the public on the power and magic of horse sport, and introduce more disciplines to engage a broader audience,” added Bellissimo. “I don’t think there is any city setting in the world that rivals this. You can really feel the energy of the community – we aren’t tucked away behind tents and trees, we are here overlooking the Manhattan skyline. This will be one of the greatest show jumping events in the world in a couple of years and we’re excited to see that happen.”


Cynthia Richardson presents awards during the U.S. Open Arabians

The Rolex Central Park Horse Show opened with a new event in 2015. The U.S. Open Arabians, presented by Aljassimya Farm, took center stage to show off the best of the Arabian breed in both mounted and halter classes. Gold, Silver and Bronze Champions were crowned in 10 classes, including the crowd favorite Native Costume Class.

“It’s a very exciting time for Arabians,” said Cynthia Richardson, president of the Arabian Horse Association (AHA). “We were really excited to be part of the Rolex Central Park Horse Show, and I think that this is a great step forward into the future for us to be able to introduce more horse events to the general public. I appreciate the Bellissimos for adding us this year.”

Competition continued on Thursday with Ireland’s Conor Swail and Simba De La Roque winning the $40,000 FEI Speed Class, presented by Canadian Pacific Railway, and Nicole Bellissimo topping the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix with Harley David. Thursday’s opening night of show jumping served as a preview to Friday’s highlight event, the $212,000 U.S. Open CSI 3* Grand Prix, presented by Rolex.

Rolex Central Park Horse Show

Nicole Bellissimo and Harley David

Daniel Bluman and Conconcreto Believe reigned victorious over a two-horse jump-off to claim the grand prix win, and his first-ever Rolex watch in front of a packed grandstand. Horse-sport fans also enjoyed coverage of the event on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, Sept. 27.

“I’ve been wanting this since I was very young and I’ve been close a few times this year,” said Bluman of his new Rolex watch. He also claimed the inaugural U.S. Open title for the most cumulative points throughout the two days of show jumping competition and was presented with a $25,000 rider bonus for the honor.

“To be able to win today in Central Park after winning the Championship, it was a lot of pressure, but I am very pleased tonight,” said Bluman after the class.


Daniel Bluman and his U.S. Open trophy

Earlier in the evening on Friday, Jennifer Gates and Everest De Muze won the $5,000 Junior/Amateur 1.20m Speed Class, presented by PwC, and six-time Olympic Gold Medalist Isabell Werth and El Santo NRW earned top score in the U.S. Open Dressage Grand Prix, presented by Breyer.

Saturday competition at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show marked another first for the event and introduced hunters to the streets of Manhattan. Offering classes for ponies, junior/amateur and professional hunters, the day kicked off with a $1,000 Pony Hunter Freestyle, where riders completed their rounds to music of their choice. IEG presented this innovative twist to show jumping competition in an effort to excite both riders and spectators.

Sophie Gochman and Bit Of Love were named the winners set to the tune of Royals by Lorde. Giavanna Rinaldi and Taken topped the $2,500 Junior/Amateur Hunter Classic, presented by Meralex, before Jennifer Alfano and Miss Lucy conquered the U.S. Open Hunters $50,000 Duchossois Cup, presented by The Gochman Family.

Sophie Gochman_Bit of Love_lr

Sophie Gochman and Bit Of Love

When the sun set over Central Park on Saturday, five countries were represented in the U.S. Open $75,000 Dressage Freestyle, presented by Axel Johnson Group. Germany’s Isabell Werth and El Santo NRW were the ones to beat again after taking top honors with a score of 80.333%.

Axel Johnson Group was one of roughly 32 mostly corporate sponsors that stepped up to support the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. “Rolex took a very blind bet on us, and it is very rare that they put their brand on anything that is unproven,” said Bellissimo. “When we first proposed to them that we were going to do something in Central Park, they didn’t flinch. We have great partners, especially with our mostly corporate group of sponsors this year, and we have turned this into something very special.”


Mark, Katherine and Paige Bellissimo

Sponsors from all corners of the U.S. and beyond helped to make the second-annual Rolex Central Park Horse Show a resounding success. VISIT FLORIDA is proud to call Florida the heartbeat of equestrian sport and was honored to continue their support of varying equestrian disciplines through the Rolex Central Park Horse Show.

“Florida enjoys a rich history of equestrian tourism that infuses a significant economic impact to the local communities,” said Paul Phipps, Chief Marketing Officer at VISIT FLORIDA. “Our partnership with the Rolex Central Park Horse Show provides a tremendous opportunity to showcase the Sunshine State’s assets with horse enthusiasts from around the world who attend this prestigious event.”


Charlotte Dujardin and Renaissance Tyme

Following the theme of promoting the horse in New York City, IEG made donations to six local charities in honor of the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. Charities included the NYPD Mounted Unit, GallopNYC and NYC Parks Enforcement Mounted Auxiliary Unit, in addition to the Central Park Conservancy, City Parks Foundation, and The Police Athletic League.

The Rolex Central Park Horse Show concluded on Sunday with a Charlotte Dujardin Master’s Class, presented by The Chronicle of the Horse and Breyer. The world’s number-one dressage rider gave spectators and viewers tuning in via live stream an inside look at how she prepares her horses for top competition.

Preceding Dujardin’s Master’s Class, horse-sport fans of New York City and beyond were welcomed into Central Park for admission-free demonstrations, including a versatility exhibition of the Arabian Horse, United States Pony Club mounted games, a show jumping clinic with Candice King, and the Land Rover Mini-Car Driving Experience.


Land Rover Mini-Car Driving Experience

While Central Park provided a fairy tale setting for equestrian activities after the last horse show was held there in 1981, the event’s VIP allowed onlookers to watch in style. VERANDA magazine was the sponsor of the interior design of the VIP tent including chandeliers from Hinkley lighting and carpets from Nourison.

The Rolex Central Park Horse Show concluded Sunday, September 27, but show managers are already making plans for the return of the Rolex Central Park Horse Show in 2016 with more competition showcasing varying disciplines of horse sport in the heart of New York City’s iconic Central Park.
Photos by Rolex/Kit Houghton, Josh Walker for The Chronicle of the Horse, Meg Banks for Equestrian Sport Productions, and Lindsay Brock for Jennifer Wood Media.

About Rolex
Leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism introduced in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities as well as philanthropic programmes.

About The Chronicle of the Horse
The Chronicle of the Horse published its first edition in 1937 and remains the industry leader in providing news coverage of national and international sport horse competitions. Through our complete magazine and web coverage we offer everything from competition results to compelling features and thought-provoking commentary. The new Chronicle Digital Network launched in the fall of 2009 with an interactive web site, enhanced video and photo galleries, RSS feeds, integrated community, blogs and other useful tools. The Chronicle of the Horse is the heart and soul of the sport horse community and an information hub for those who desire to live the active equestrian lifestyle. Visit The Chronicle of the Horse at

About Rolex Central Park Horse Show
Launched in September 2014, Rolex Central Park Horse Show is the first-ever outdoor, multi-day equestrian sporting event in New York City, showcasing some of the best show jumpers and dressage riders in the world as they vie for top prizes against a backdrop of skyscrapers in one of the world’s most iconic venues. As the event founder, Mark Bellissimo is the CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions and International Equestrian Group LLC; Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEF), Tryon Equestrian Partners and Colorado Equestrian Partners; and Publisher of The Chronicle of The Horse magazine. In its second year, Rolex Central Park Horse Show will make its triumphant return from September 23 to 27, 2015 and will feature five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport and performances, ranging from Arabians and Dressage to Hunters and Show Jumping. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will also host the inaugural U.S. Open in the following categories: Jumpers; Dressage; Hunters; U25 Jumpers; and Arabians. For more information, visit, on Facebook at and follow @cphorseshow on Twitter and Instagram.