Bulgaria, Greece & Turkey Share Spoils at Balkan Dressage Championships
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By LOUISE PARKES
Turkey and Bulgaria displayed strength to prevent Greece from dominating the 2013 FEI Balkan Dressage Championships at Yagodovo, Bulgaria recently. At the 2012 Championships, staged at the former equestrian Olympic stadium at Markopoulo in Athens, the host nation swept the competition when claiming all the gold medals on offer as well as Senior and Junior individual silver and bronze.
This time, however, a double for Turkey in the Junior Championships and victory for the home side Children’s team saw the Greek contenders having to settle for a hat-trick of gold. Nevertheless Angela “Kelly” Sklavounos was highly impressive when lifting the Greek Senior side to team glory before pipping team-mate Eleni Myrat in the battle for the 2013 Senior Individual title.
Eleni Myrat and her black mare, Solon Hit, registered a mark of 67.868 per cent to put Greece in a position of strength in the Senior team competition. Katerina Los on Largos and Emmenouela Moushama on Indy de St Gatien added 60.974 per cent and 60.789 per cent, respectively before Angela Sklavounos took her turn. And th judges gave the German-based 21-year-old their highest score of the team competition of 69.105 per cent to clinch the result.
The Greek team finished with a combined score of 197.947, while Bulgaria took the silver with 190.053 and Turkey took bronze with 116.079. The best score of the Bulgarian side was posted by Odrey Caix and the dark chestnut mare Fantastico who scored 64.632.
Angela Sklavounos returned to do the double in the Senior Individual Championship. Her mark of 74.30 per cent put her more than four marks clear of her nearest rival, Eleni Myrat, in silver medal position while Bulgaria’s Iana Zafirova and Gizel took the bronze.
Angela first made an impression in 2007 with her black mare Dynastie with whom she competed successfully for four years at national and international level. Her next horse, Palatino, took her through Juniors and Young Riders and then she found Quanderas, who she calls her “dancing partner” and the mare which has successfully brought her to Senior level. Together they blazed a trail through the Greek Championships in May of this year, winning the Prix St Georges with a score of 67.76 per cent, the Intermediate 1 with a mark of 71.18 per cent and the Intermediate Freestyle with a mark of 72.209 per cent. They also competed in their first international show at Senior level at Vidauban, France in February where they finished fifth in the Freestyle final.
The Turkish team came out on top in the Junior Team competition thanks to strong rides from both Karla Nahmiyas on Waterloo and Rotem Ibrahimzade on Risander. Scoring 67.54 per cent and 66.11 per cent, respectively this pair were joined on the winner’s podium by Defne Morova who rode Mirakulix to earn 62.46 per cent and Pia Alara de Marci and Neptun who scored 59.05 per cent. They headed the silver medallists from Bulgaria by almost 15 points. Katerina Tsvetanova and Preslav scored 63.27 per cent, Alexander Krasimirov and Silver Boy 62.03 per cent and Krassina Krasteva and Diogen received 56.43 per cent.
Turkey’s Nahmiyas was the definitive winner of the Junior Individual Championship when steering Waterloo to the leading score of 74.58 per cent. The silver medal went to Fotini-Nepheli Georgitsou from Greece riding Koliante – this pair last year took individual bronze. And Rotem Ibrahimzade ensured Turkish dominance at this level when securing Junior Individual bronze with Risander with 66.88 per cent.
The host country had plenty to celebrate when Bulgaria claimed the Children’s Team title. Iva Todorova produced the best Bulgarian result with 67.00 per cent on Gigantik and when team-mates Zdravko Trenev on Venus, Boris Raychev on Sekreto and Liubomir Ivanov on Don Carlos each posted 64 per cent scores their final tally of 196.724 was the winning one.
FEI Balkan Dressage Senior Team Championship: GOLD – Greece 197.947: Solon Hit (Eleni Myrat), Largos (Katerina Los), Indy de St Gatien (Emmanouela Mousama), Quanderas (Angela Sklavounos); SILVER – Bulgaria 190.053: Beyv Izabel (Stefani Gacheva), Fantastico (Odrey Caix), Ambrozia (Rajko Ganukov), Gizel (Iana Zafirova); BRONZE – Turkey 116.079: My Dundee (Cetin Altin), Clock Work (Osman Hazinedaroglu), Otto (Ella Irene Gursoy).
FEI Balkan Dressage Senior Individual Championship Championship: GOLD -Quanderas (Angela Sklavounos) GRE 74.30; SILVER – Solon Hit (Eleni Myrat) 70.08; BRONZE – Gizel (Iana Zafirova) BUL 63.60.
FEI Balkan Dressage Junior Team Championship: GOLD – Turkey 196.11; Waterloo (Karla Nahmiyas) 67.54, Risander (Rotem Ibrahimzade) 66.11, Mirakulix (Defne Morova) 62.46, Neptun (Pia Alara de Marci) 59.05; SILVER – Bulgaria 181.73, Preslav (Katerina Tsvetanova) 63.27, Silver Boy (Alexander Krasimirov) 62.03, Diogen (Krassina Krasteva) 56.43.
FEI Balkan Dressage Junior Team Championship: GOLD – Waterloo (Karla Nahmiyas) TUR 74.58; SILVER – Koliante (Fotini-Nepheli Georgitsou) 71.38; BRONZE – Risander (Rotem Ibrahimzade) TUR 66.88.
FEI Balkan Dressage Children’s Team Championship: GOLD – Bulgaria 196.724: Venus (Zdravko Trenev) 64.931, Sekreto (Boris Raychev) 64.724, Don Carlos (Liubomir Ivanov) 64.793, Gigantik (Iva Todorova) 67.00; SILVER – Turkey 189.344: Nick (Lara Turnay) 59.103, Primadonna (Neslihan Esen) 63.448, Chiara (Selen Skalin) 65.793, Adamo (Semih Sarimehmetoglu) 60.103; BRONZE – Szeplak Donci (Jovan Grujic) 53.759, Galja (Nikoleta Zidisic) 56.931, Ferdynand (Anja Markovic) 54.379, Quincon Z (Sara Poparic) 63.138.
FEI Balkan Dressage Children’s Individual Championship: GOLD – Nocsley (Melina Zografou-Alexiou) GRE 74.54; SILVER – Gigantik (Iva Todorova) BUL 69.00; BRONZE – Nonchaloir (Lydia-Evdokia Anesti) GRE 65.61.