After a second place finish on the podium in 2015, Bulgaria’s Denis Furlanski captured individual gold riding Moz in the 100km FEI Balkan Endurance Championships 2016 at Velika Pisanica in eastern Croatia yesterday (8 October).
Furlanski, who last year won team gold and individual silver at the 90km Balkan Championships, headed Moz into the cold morning fog through the forest trails coming into the first vet check just behind top Croatian athlete Zrinka Bilen on the 10-year-old mare Sally.
They left for the second loop at the same time, but Furlanski and the 10 year-old Shagya gelding pulled ahead and completed the ride in the afternoon sun in 04:54:28 with an average speed of 20:376 km/ph.
Fellow Bulgarian Desislava Aleksieva, finishing five minutes later on the 9-year-old Arabian, Pompey, scored individual silver with the ride time of 04:59:37, and bronze was won by Zrinka who arrived three minutes later over the finish line.
With Bulgaria’s one-two finish, the team had a leg up on the top podium spot, and thanks to the sixth-place finish of third team member Ruz Nedkova-Ivanova on Morfey the team’s combined ride time of 15:11:53 secured the gold medal.
Croatia, with Bilen’s individual bronze in the bag, narrowly missed team gold with Stefano Osip on the 8-year-old Shagya gelding Hajna finishing fourth and Iva Lipovac taking fifth place with 9-year-old mare Hita. They completed in a combined ride time of 15:18:15.
Greece took home team bronze finishing in 21:53:53 with Viktoria Schoina on Koheilan XIII 16 SALA, Irini Mitona on Aphroditi and Sotirios Patisouras on Sheikh, who finished 10th, 11th and 12th in that order.
A total of 30 rider/horse combinations from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Turkey started out at 07:00 on the FEI Balkan Endurance Championships 2016 trail, which left from the Kukavica sports centre in Velika Pisanica into a forested area with excellent horse trails.
Best Condition - Moz
Moz, ridden by the Championships winner Denis Furlanski (BUL), won the Best Condition Award. The ten-year-old gelding won the CEI3* 160km ride in Aschen, Austria, in May.
Antun Baković of the Croatian National Federation, who was in charge of timing on the day, said: “Everything connected to facilitating the event went smoothly thanks to enthusiastic athletes and supporting crew, and the experience of Technical Delegate and Foreign Judge Anita Goedl and officials led by Teodora Kostova, President of the Ground Jury.”
FEI Balkan Endurance Championship 2016 - individual results
1. Denis Furlanski (BUL), Moz - 04:54:28
2. Desislava Aleksieva (BUL), Pompey - 04:59:37
3. Zrinka Bilen (CRO), 130 Sally - 05:02:35
4. Stefano Osip (CRO), Shagya Hajnal - 05:05:02
5. Iva Lipovac (CRO, Hita - 05:10:38
6. Ruz Nedkova-Ivanova (BUL), Morfey - 05:17:48
7. Katina Lyutova (BUL), Artur - 05:38:27
8. Sitki Doguslu (TUR), Bolero - 05:54:42
9. Dinka Kovačević (CRO), Gidran XXIV-90 HAJNA - 05:57:41
10.Viktoria Schoina (GRE), Koheilan XIII 16 SALA - 07:13:37
Gold: Bulgaria - 15:11:53
Silver: Croatia - 15:18:15
Bronze: Greece - 21:53:53
*Full results will be available in the FEI results database in due course: https://data.fei.org/Calendar/Search.aspx