Alex Hua Tian's dreams of becoming the first Chinese rider to compete at an Olympics are cantering towards realisation - thanks to generous support on the mainland. The London-born student is expected to take his place in the SAR next August when Hong Kong hosts the equestrian events for the first time. And although the 17-year-old won't win a medal, just getting to the Olympics would mark a milestone for him and for China. Since the rider made an appeal for financial help to compete in the Olympics recently, the Eton College student has been overwhelmed by support and he is likely to raise enough cash - amounting to a whooping HK$30 million - needed to compete in Hong Kong. His father, Hua Shan, who is based in Beijing and works in the aviation industry, is confident his teenage son will make history. 'No Chinese rider has ever competed in equestrian events at the Olympics,' said Hua Shan, who is in Hong Kong to drum up support for his son. 'It's an honour for him if he does get there because he will be the one and only rider representing a nation of 1.3 billion. Think about it.' Hua, whose mother is English, is likely to become just one of three Asian riders to qualify for the competition in Hong Kong. But more importantly, the young rider should be able to raise enough capital to purchase another three or four horses required for the 'eventing' competition - the discipline he will compete in at the Olympics. Ideally, he needs six horses. 'We have so far been promised government assistance and two other sources have pledged money to us too,' Hua Shan said. 'A mainland website has promised to donate money and other private donors have come to our aid.' Donations have been pouring in since a nationwide campaign started when his story graced the front pages of many mainland newspapers this year.