Beautiful, connected and winning over the equestrian world: Charlotte Casiraghi leads talented crop of socialite daughters riding at Olympic-level


Beautiful, connected and winning over the equestrian world: Monaco Royal Charlotte Casiraghi leads talented crop of socialites riding at Olympic-level

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UPDATED:

21:34 GMT, 6 July 2012

Grace Kelly's effortlessly exotic granddaughter, Charlotte Casiraghi, is leading the way in the newest hobby for the world's most pedigreed daughters.

Featuring on the cover of Town & Country magazine's latest issue, the 25-year-old daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco, is playing her own princess – of competitive dressage.

Spotlighting the crop of young socialites now pushing into the highest ranks of horse sports, the August issue also features Zara Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne; Jessica Springsteen, daughter of Bruce; Jennifer Gates, daughter of Bill; and Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of Mayor Michael.

Elegant equestrian: Featuring on the cover of Town & Country magazine's August issue, 25-year-old Charlotte Casiraghi plays her own princess... of dressage

Elegant equestrian: Featuring on the cover of Town & Country magazine's August issue, 25-year-old Charlotte Casiraghi plays her own princess… of dressage

Miss Casiraghi, who was not given the
title of princess because her father, Stephano Casiraghi, an Italian
businessman who died in a speedboat accident when Charlotte was four,
was a commoner; has evolved into a competitive equestrian, as well as a lover of expensive clothes.

Seamlessly marrying the two, Miss Casiraghi also made her debut as the new face of Gucci earlier this year, in an advertising campaign that celebrates her passion for competitive show jumping.

However Town and Country quickly points out that the sport requires much more than chic leather boots, structured blazers, and the six-figure sums needed to campaign and compete on an international circuit.

Katie Monahan-Prudent, a renowned international show jumper and coach, tells the magazine: 'A
lot of them are growing up with a lot of money. But it takes not only
money. It takes a certain type of person who wants to rise above.'

Town and Country's editor-in-chief,
Jay Fielden, told MailOnline that while it certainly helps to have money
and connections for the well-dressed sport, much like golf, tennis or sailing, it takes 'insanity,'
as well as 'guts, athleticism and drive,' to ride a half-ton heavy
animal.

Trend setter: Grace Kelly's exotic granddaughter, Charlotte Casiraghi, is leading the way in the newest hobby for the world's most pedigreed daughters

Trend setter: Grace Kelly's exotic granddaughter, Charlotte Casiraghi, is leading the way in the newest hobby for the world's most pedigreed daughters

One of the most seasoned and inspiring equestrians is Miss Casiraghi herself.

Frida Giannini, Gucci’s creative director, said Miss Casiraghi 'not only embodies the beauty and the grace of the equestrian, but is also a wonderful ambassador for the sport.'

And although she's far from an all-American sports star, being the fourth in line to Monaco's throne, Mr Fielden explains our continued fascination with her well-dressed sporting endeavors.

'It doesn't hurt that Grace Kelly is her
grandmother. But it's like watching one of our own. She has American
qualities we admire; she's grounded; stylish, but not overly
fashionable; she always manages to look beautiful without wearing a lot
of make-up – she gives us that connection without the tiara.

'She charming, with a sporty effortlessness that is a very American thing.'

There is
a long tradition of moneyed families and their horse-set daughters, a
serious sport they appear to enter without trepidation.

Jessica Springsteen, daughter of Bruce Springsteen

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Well dressed Olympians: Jessica
Springsteen, 20, trailed for the Olympics but failed to win a spot on the U.S equestrian team (left), meanwhile Zara Phillips, 31, will compete for British gold in London (right)

Ms Phillips, for example, will represent
her own country outside of her royal duties at the end of July, when
she joins four others as part of the British equestrian team at the 2012
London Olympics.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Miss
Springsteen, also a serious rider, managed to make the Olympic trials,
but failed to win a spot on the U.S equestrian team; and Miss Bloomberg, 29, also a competitive rider, is a member of the board
of the Equestrian Aid Foundation alongside six-time Olympic medalist, Robert Dover.

'Not all kids with a lot of money have the gift or the guts'

But the newest and youngest elite member
to enter the riding arena is Bill Gates' 15-year-old daughter, Jessica,
who also trialed for this year's Olympic team.

The sport may be overflowing with pretty-young things who have ample money, but Mr Fielden believes the sport isn't wholly inaccessible to those without an elite family name.

Elite newcomer: The youngest to enter the riding arena is Bill Gates' 15-year-old daughter, Jessica, who also trailed for the 2012 Olympic team

Elite newcomer: The youngest to enter the riding arena is Bill Gates' 15-year-old daughter, Jessica, who also trailed for the 2012 Olympic team

Mayor's daughter: Georgina Bloomberg, 29, is also a competitive rider, and a member of the board of the Equestrian Aid Foundation alongside 6-time Olympic medalist Robert Dover

Mayor's daughter: Georgina Bloomberg, 29, is also a competitive rider, and a member of the board of the Equestrian Aid Foundation alongside 6-time Olympic medalist Robert Dover

He said: 'There are others, who are also in the portfolio, who came up another way. They worked in the barns for wealthy families. Money helps, but if you have the drive it's not impossible.'

Cornelia Guest, a former competitive show jumper told the magazine: 'Not all kids with a lot of money have the gift or the guts.

'You can’t jump more clean rounds than anybody else at 17 and fake it.'