Last Sunday was the day of the horse-riding competition I take part in every year. Together with friends and fellow members of the Messara Horse-Riding Association, I took my horse in its trailer and we drove to the centre of Crete. Every year, the place where the competition takes place changes. This year it was in Stroumboulas, in the Psiloritis mountains, not far from Anogia.
The participants not only came from Crete, but also from the mainland (from the Athens area and the North of Greece).
About 30 horses competed for each of the male and the female horse contests this year.
Each of the contests consists in eliminatory races, which filter the fastest horses, and in the final, where only the best compete. It is a trot competition, so one of the biggest challenges is to maintain the correct pace throughout the different races, lest you are disqualified. You have to impel your horse to go as fast as possible, but you must absolutely refrain from galloping!
This year, I qualified to the final, and finished 4th out of the 30 total contestants in my category. I only narrowly missed the podium, but I am very happy still as it is my good friend Manolis who made it to the 3rd place. I also consider myself lucky enough to have been able to participate as my horse Gerakina gave birth to a lovely foal earlier this year, and I could only start training again for the past couple of months!
This short video compiles the highlights of the event and features the preparation and warm-up, some views of the beautiful mountain setting, as well as the final sequences of the main races.
18th October - Horse-riding competition in Stroumboulas
Background traditional Cretan music - Greek dance from Crete (Maleviziotiko)