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
"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
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
"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 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,"