The 41st Prstenac Race was held in Barban, Istria County on Sunday, attended by nearly all political officials, and the winner of the jousting tournament was the oldest participant, 55-year-old Bruno Kozljan of Barban.
This first race was held on 10 June 1696 and was reintroduced in 1976.
The event was held under the auspices of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who said the race was part of Istria's and Croatia's cultural identity, a valuable reminder of the history and a symbol of the tradition of the Barban area and all of Istria.
She said Istria had a special place in Croatia's culture and history, having nurtured its national consciousness, and that it could be rightfully considered the cradle of Croatian and European anti-fascism.
The president said Istria's regional organisation had proved to be good and that now it was necessary to carry out Croatia's fiscal and functional decentralisation. "If Istria makes one of the biggest contributions to the Croatian budget, this must be felt in the possibility to manage the income generated more independently and more than is the case. This goes for all counties, so I expect the new government to urgently adopt decisions which will make that possible."
The president said she expected full support for Istrian projects such as the Pula hospital, the completion of the Istrian motorway and Ucka tunnel as well as other projects important for the county and the country.