Hong Kong Fields Record Squad of 11 Combinations (5 Eventers!) for 2023 Asian Games

The Hong Kong Jockey Club is pleased to announce that nine athletes (11 rider-horse combinations) supported by the Club will represent Hong Kong, China at the 19th Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou from September to October this year. This is the largest equestrian squad Hong Kong, China has ever sent to the games. All of the athletes are members of the HKJC Equestrian Team and have benefited from high-level coaching and professional support provided by the Club under the Hong Kong Equestrian Performance Plan.

Here’s a look at the riders named to represent Hong Kong:

For the sport of eventing, a full team of four and one reserve combination will travel to Hangzhou. It’s a group of riders with a large amount of experience at the Asian Games and beyond, largely based in Europe or the UK full-time.

Two horses are owned by the Hong Kong Jockey Club: the Irish-bred 10-year-old Jockey Club Miss Matana (OBOS Quality 004 – Rienroe Ashbrook) and Jockey Club Highdown March (Jaguar Mail – Valentina II), who was purchased from Piggy and Tom March’s program and is a half-brother on the dam side (Valentina competed through the 5* level with Richard Jones) to the Burghley 4-year-old Young Event Horse champion Cupid March. His rider, Olympian Patrick Lam, is also competing on the show jumping team with Claron CR — this is the discipline in which Patrick has ridden at the Olympics (2008).

Another rider competing in two disciplines is Annie Ho, whose preferred second sport is dressage. She’ll ride Jockey Club Miss Matana in the eventing and Southern Cross Braemar in the dressage competition at the Asian Games. Annie is an experienced Asian Games competitor, winning team bronze in Incheon (KOR) in 2014 and otherwise competing in two other Games as well as coming first overall in the 2013 FEI Asia Eventing Championships.

You can also read a profile we published on Yu Xuan Su here. He’ll partner with the 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Spypark Ferro XS, owned by longtime supporter Howard Green for his second trip to the Asian Games.

Daniella Lin will compete in her first major Championship with A Sparkling Bellini, with whom she has done all of her international eventing to date. After first catching the horse bug at a summer camp hosted by the HKJC when she was 11, she quickly got involved in riding through Hong Kong’s Lo Wu Saddle Club and now at the age of 20 bases in the UK with her “horse of a lifetime”, A Sparkling Bellini.

Called up on reserve for the eventing squad will be UK-based Nicole Pearson and James and Nicole Pearson and Pacific Risk Advisors’ Hanerina SSF. Nicole is a three-time Asian Games competitor, earning team bronze alongside Annie Ho in 2014.

The equestrian events of the 19th Asian Games will be held at the Tonglu Equestrian Centre in Hangzhou from September 26 to October 6. A team of nine athletes will represent Hong Kong, China in dressage, eventing and show jumping competitions. This is the first time the team will be competing in both the individual and team competitions in all three disciplines. 3 competition horses for the team are also being provided by the Club.

Club Chairman and President of the Equestrian Federation of Hong Kong, China, Michael Lee congratulated the riders. “Hong Kong equestrian sport has come a long way in a very short space of time and this owes a great deal to the hard work of riders as well as to the support of The Hong Kong Jockey Club. My sincere congratulations to the entire team.”

“The 19th Asian Games will be a wonderful showcase for Hangzhou and for Hong Kong’s riding talent. The Club is delighted to provide its professional support for the organisation of the equestrian events and to support Hong Kong, China equestrian team. I look forward to an outstanding games and to great performances from Team Hong Kong, China,” said Club Chief Executive Officer Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Equestrian Performance Manager, Corinne Bracken will be the Chef d’Equipe of the Hong Kong, China team at the 19th Asian Games. To support athletes and horses, the Club is sending a specialist support team to Hangzhou including coaches, grooms, veterinarians, farriers and physiotherapists for both athletes and horses.

In addition, under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Club and the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 Organising Committee, the Club will provide technical support for the equestrian events in six functional areas, namely biosecurity, horse transportation, stable management, veterinary and farriery services, venue operations and international stakeholder management.

Members of the HKJC Equestrian team have represented Hong Kong, China at past Asian Games, winning back-to-back medals since 2010. They include Jacqueline Siu, who won Hong Kong’s first ever equestrian gold medal in Individual Dressage in Jakarta in 2018; Annie Ho, Thomas Ho and Nicole Pearson, who won a Team Eventing Bronze medal in Incheon in 2014; and Patrick Lam, Jacqueline Lai, Kenneth Cheng and Samantha Lam, who won a Team Jumping Bronze medal in Guangzhou in 2010.

The Club is a long-standing supporter of equestrian sport, both through its public riding schools and through the HKJC Equestrian Team and Junior Equestrian Training Squad (JETS), established following the Beijing 2008 Olympics to develop the potential of Hong Kong, China’s elite riders. Under the Hong Kong Equestrian Performance Plan launched in 2016, equestrian and para equestrian riders benefit from high-level coaching and professional support services. Support for youth athletes is provided through the HKJC Youth Equestrian Development Programme (previously JETS), run in collaboration with the Equestrian Federation of Hong Kong, China and the Hong Kong Sports Institute. In 2022, the Club expanded this programme with the addition of a Mainland squad, which supports young talented Hong Kong athletes who are based full time in the Mainland.

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