Chinese Eventer Alex Hua Tian Gets to the Heart of the Sport

We all know how demanding of a sport eventing is. It’s dangerous and not always for the faint of heart. But what is the sport really about? Some people might say it’s for the fame and glory — definitely not the money — but most will say that it’s a true testament to the relationship forged between horse and human.

Alex Hua Tian is no stranger to the sport. Representing China, Alex is the only event rider who has represented his country internationally at the Advanced level. In 2008, Alex qualified as an individual for the Beijing Olympics and became the youngest ever Olympic event rider. In 2009, Alex received the HSBC Rising Star Award from the FEI.

In a documentary by Sedon Tenzin, Alex talks candidly about the relationships with the horses that have brought him to the highest levels of the sport. “All sports — human sports, horse sports, and especially eventing, especially cross country — it’s all about confidence. It’s all about polish. So the horse … he doesn’t learn how to jump these big fences in one day. It takes many, many, many years to build up to the Olympic level,” Alex says in the documentary.

“What the sport tests, it’s not a test on just power and speed; it’s a test on how the strong the communication is between the rider and the horse.”

Alex goes on to talk about some of the special horses who have helped define his career. The documentary features wonderful video footage and is a great look into the philosophies of a top rider. It’s wonderful to hear riders talking openly about the emotions brought on by this sport; it truly is a reminder of why we are all in the game.

Go Eventing.

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