...with a growing interest in establishing new riding clubs in the Greek periphery...
In Greece, equestrianism (the use of horses for recreational activities, artistic or cultural exercises and competitive sports) began before WWII when a group of high-ranking army officers and lay riding enthusiasts founded the Hellenic Riding Club, and, shortly after, the Fillippi Club. The Club’s activities continued after the war and soon several jockey clubs sprung up in Athens and Thessaloniki, contributing to the popularity of the sport in the country. In 1990, a milestone in the history of domestic equestrianism took place with the departure of the Hellenic Riding Club from the Union of Greek Gymnastic and Athletics Clubs (SEGAS) and the establishment of the Hellenic Equestrian Federation (HEF).
Today, HEF numbers over 80 clubs throughout Greece, with a growing interest in establishing new jockey clubs in the Greek periphery. Those who wish to discover the “secrets” of the sport can contact the local jockey clubs for horseback riding courses. The addresses and telephone numbers of jockey clubs in Greece can be found at HEF web page at www.hef.gr.
In May 2006, the Hellenic Equestrian Federation relocated to its new offices at the Olympic Equestrian Center in Markopoulo, the venue that hosted the Olympics 2004 events and all the important national and international equestrian events since then. In addition to the popular Olympic disciplines of Show Jumping and Dressage, in the past two years the trials of Endurance and Carriage Driving have also been gaining considerable ground at the Greek jockey clubs.
So far, the highlight of Greek equestrianism was at the Sydney 2000 Olympics where it made its Olympic debut represented by rider Heidi Antikatzides. The Greek Amazon and her horse Michaelmas placed sixth in the Individual Eventing Equestrian Triathlon. Greece participated in the Athens 2004 Olympics with a full team in Show Jumping (Antonis Petris, Hannah Mytilinaiou, Emmanouela Athanasiades and Danae Tsatsou) for the first time in its history, one Amazon in the Equestrian Triathlon, Heidi Antikatzides, and two Amazons in Dressage (Alexandra Sourla and Gerta Lehmann), also for the first time.