- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 November 14 , 2003 

Sports: Armenian horsemen are Champions of the Caucausus

Norayr Stepanyan and his new horsepower..

Norayr Stepanyan of Yerevan took the Grand Prize in horse riding-jumping competition in Tbilisi. About 70 horsemen from Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia competed October 25-30 in the Caucasus Cup Competition.

"The other participants were probably surprised when in the individual contest the three leading places were won by the Armenian horsemen," said Stepanyan, who leads the Armenian team and is director of a new riding center in Yerevan.

Six riders from Armenia, who were winners in Armenia's first such competition early last month, represented Armenia at the regional tournament.

"We knew that the Georgians and the Azerbaijanis had perfect horses," said Meruzhan Melknoyan, the team coach. "We had trained and professional horse riders."

The Armenians in fact swept the top spots, with Robert Khachatryan and Gevorg Hovhannisyan taking second and third places behind Stepanyan.

For his victory as Grand Champion, Stepanyan won a red BMW 316.

Armenia finished second behind the hosts in team competition.

"We also had very good chances to win the team contest as well, however, because of unfavorable weather, we took second place. Besides, we had to leave something for the others, didn't we," Stepanyan joked.

Stepanyan says he hopes the success of the Armenian riders will encourage others in Armenia to take up the sport.

"Today we already think about participation in international contests. Next year is the Olympics, and we are planning to take part in it," Stepanyan says.



According to Agnes
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