Junior dressage champion and instructor Martina Opočenská has dreamt about the life with horses since she was a child. Although she can't remember her first contact with horses, she's sure that it must have been at a funfair.
Her first legitimate horse-riding attempt was at her 9, when she rode a horse in a stable in Highlands Region. She was very nervous about her first race. The reason was that the race was also a qualification for children's national championship in dressage. Unfortunately, the nervousness from that race stuck to her also during many other competitions.
According to her, her biggest life-time success so far was gaining a junior national championship title. She obtained this title in the saddle of a mare called KIPI-N, her great teacher, with who she went through her whole junior period. Martina's most distinct sport memories and many "first times" are associated with KIPI.
For her achievements, Martina Opočenská is also grateful to her trainers she had opportunity to meet so far during her career. Irena Plánková and Karolina Žižková primarily spent most of time participating on Martina's training. But a trainer Martina admires the most is Rapstern who tries her every day.
Apart from horses, Martina used to go in for pottery when she was a child. At college she pursued law studies. However, her relationship with animals was pretty obvious already in her early childhood. If she hadn't devoted herself to horses, she would definitely choose other quadrupeds to be interested in.
Horseman and trainer Jiří Luža sat in the saddle of a horse for the first time when he was 13. Only one year later he took part in his first combined contest (show jumping/dressage) which he won at once. He decided to do the show jumping because of the fact that the referees cannot possibly influence the outcome in any subjective manner. Among his greatest successes are taking part in several Cup of Nations competitions and in the championship of Europe which took place in 2011 in Madrid, Spain. It's also hard not to mention medals from the championship of the Czech Republic.
During his riding career, he had chance to sit in the saddles of many horses, but most often he remembers Imrich – a gelding he rode in his beginnings. Imrich lived to the ripe age of 32, which is quite incredible for a horse. In his saddle, Jiří won the championship of the Czech Republic in juniors and young horsemen category three times. So far the best horse he ever had the pleasure to ride was Ronald, with who he participated in many competitions abroad. Luža has learnt most things related to horsemanship thanks to his trainer Jaroslav Jindra, with whom he's been cooperating for more than 10 years now. He appreciates mainly his teacher's ability to give a good advice in any situation. Jiří would like to train young horsemen and horses in the future.
Mgr. Alexander Onoprienko, a former couch of the Ukrainian representation, belongs to the elite of the Czech dressage scene. He is one of the trainers and horsemen who place top spots in dressage competitions on a regular basis.
He sat in the saddle of a horse for the first time in 1968, when he was 12. Three years later --in 1971-- he participated in his first official contest. Since then, he has obtained an immense number of championship titles and won plenty of competitions. However, he believes that the biggest success in his life is meeting his wife Káťa who has been also a great trainer to him.
Jasnyj, Echor and Arcon are the names of three horses which Alexander likes to remember the most. The gelding Arcon was also a long-time resident and a darling of the Kamenický dvůr farm. If Saša wasn't into horses, he thinks he would have become an astronaut.