The Jumping Balkan Championships, the largest sports event hosted by Romania this year, started on Wednesday evening at Adunatii Copaceni with a parade of over 250 horse riders from 8 Balkan countries. The championships run Thursday through Sunday at the Horses’ Kingdom Club at Adunatii Copaceni.
The opening ceremony started with a parade of riders from Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Greece, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and Romania who paraded to the applause of the attending equestrianism aficionados. Romania’s national anthem was also rendered by the Romanian riders and the spectators alike.
”Romania is honoured to host the Jumping Balkan Championships after a 20-year absence. I want to thank the athletes and the teams from Balkan countries for having showed up in such a large number for the competition. The Romanian Equestrian Federation has deployed huge efforts to organise the Balkan championships at this level. Let me wish success to all the competitors!” Chairman of the Romanian Equestrian Federation Vlad Bontea said at the beginning of the event.
Part of the event, veteran horse riders – Vlad Constantin (posthumously), Vasile Pinciu, Nicolae Mihalcea, Andrei Costea, Anghelache Donescu, Alexandru Bozan, Dumitru Hering, Vasile Tudor, Dumitru Velea, Gheorghe Nicolae – were presented plaques for their career achievements.
The ceremony ended with a special moment, a violin recital by Alexandra Violin, which was followed by a show staged by Alina Crisan and her band.
Among the contesters in the Jumping Balkan Championships at Adunatii Copaceni are 40 Romanians and 50 horses in all six events: children, juniors, senior riders, young riders, ladies and young horses. Romania is a favourite to win medals. At the 2015 Balkan Championships at Porto Varras in Greece, Romania won eight medals – one gold, two silvers, and five bronzes.
Thursday was the qualification day for ladies, young riders, senior riders, children, juniors and young horses; Friday and Saturday are the days of the event finals, while Sunday is the day of five grand prix.