The Handsome Star of the Stables

The Handsome Star of the Stables

Sencer Can was born in 1972 in Edirne. He grew up in Ankara and started horseback riding upon moving to Istanbul in July 86. He has participated in his first horse race in 1988 in Maslak and tried to learn the trade in small-time races from then on. Later in ’89, he started his first serious races at the junior category. He achieved his first important victory in 1989 by winning the İnönü Trophy. During those years, it was slowly becoming clear to his followers that a very great equestrian of the future was on his way. At the first half of the year 1990, he started racing among adults and he also won the Turkey Championship at the medium-height category (130-cm tall). At the end of the same year, he earned the İnönü Trophy for a second time. In 1991, he officially started racing at the adults category. Within the same year, he ranked 4th at the Ataturk Cup and was chosen for the National Team in 1992. At the time, he was the youngest rider in Turkey that had been chosen to participate in the National Team. He became the individual first place winner at the Balkans Championship held in Istanbul. After 1992, he won 4 Atatürk Cups, 3 Turkey Championships, 7 Prime Ministers, 8 Presidential, 2 Chief of General Staff and 4 National Parliament Cups throughout all the classic racing events held in Turkey. Saying that he is a very ambitious person, Sencer Can links the key to his success to his dedicated efforts and adds “I never enter a competition for a rank lower than the first”.

Have you had any experience abroad?
I’ve won two World Cup Finals in 2003 and 2004. Then we found ourselves in European Championship for adults. Now, we’ve passed on the flag to others, and I’m back in here, where I continue horseback riding. Now my aim is the Balkan competitions rather than the European ones.

Who do you appreciate among the Turkish equestrians?
The people whom I appreciate are actually abroad. For example, the German equestrian Marcus Enning. Also, Swedish rider Rolf Goran Bankstone, whom I’ve had the fortune of having a period of working together with in the past. They both have very pleasant riding styles in terms of aesthetics.

Is riding a skill that you have acquired from birth or have you developed it through time?
No matter how skilled you are from birth, if you do not follow the right system of training, you would lose your edge quickly.

Compared to the time that you started riding, could you say that the quality of Equestrianism in Turkey has improved?
In terms of the quality of races, things have certainly improved. However, we are more lacking today in high-quality instructors.

Is the Federation doing all it can do to make equestrianism a more widespread sport branch?
I could say that nowadays, the Federation is doing real good in spreading the sport to the public.

You also have your personal efforts, you give riding lessons…
Right now, I have got pupils between the ages of 13 – 18 whom I believe will be very successful riders in the future. I try to help them and transfer my knowledge to them as much as I can.

Riding is more than just a hobby for you, it is your profession. You make a living with this. Do you feel lucky when you see things from this perspective?
Of course, it is a great thing to earn money by doing a sport that I love so much. However, the thing has its difficulties that are invisible to the casual observer. For example, if you are participating in a tennis tournament, you just take your racket and appear at the spot. We, on the other hand, are working with a living being. We travel around with our horses and traveling to the competition grounds is always a problem for us.

What do you like to do in your social life?
I don’t have much time. My most favorite pastime activity is to go to the Netherlands, Belgium or Germany and check out the horses there.

What was the longest period of time in which you were away from your horses?
A week or maybe ten days, in which I took a vacation, maybe. It is not possible for me to be away from them for longer than that.

What is your expectation from life.
To be remembered pleasantly in the future years with what I have done in the past. In fact, I believe that I have already achieved this goal.

Gamze ALPAR - Fotoğraflar: Mehmet TÜTÜNCÜ

Source: QPlus 2. issue

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