Bright start for HK showjumpers
Hong Kong riders got off to an excellent start at the 28th FEI World Cup final jumping event yesterday with Magali Tong taking first place on ex-racehorse Open Treasure to win the Young Riders Debut Cup.
Competing against riders from nine other countries over fences of 1.1 metres, Tong rode a stunning clear round in slightly under 38 seconds despite Open Treasure displaying high spirits by bucking.
A jubilant Stuart Mitchell, trainer of the Hong Kong team, said: 'Magali has now gone clear in the last six shows she has competed in. All the riders are going well and I am delighted by this start.'
Magali's sister, Gaelle, on Capital Star, rode an equally fast round but was unfortunate to have one fence down, incurring four penalties.
The cream of the showjumping world has converged on Kuala Lumpur for this week's event.
In the International Team Trophy qualifier, held against the clock over 1.2m fences, Hong Kong's Nicole Pearson went clear to take third place on Happy King. Kenneth Cheng took 10th place on Jay Bee Schultz with Jennifer Chang coming 13th on Sport Seeker.
In preparation for the Grand Prix tour, Charlotte Morse joined in a practice round with riders from 22 other nations including current World Cup champion Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum. The course of innovative 1.4m and 1.5m obstacles, designed by Frank Rothenberger, challenged the most competent of riders.
Morse rode O'Jasper and Lanceretto with both horses looking settled. The first round of the Grand Prix tour takes place today and is followed by the official opening of the FEI World Cup final jumping. This is the first time that the World Cup has been held in Asia.