German event opens way for Olympic hopefuls Hong Kong's four Olympic showjumping hopefuls have been given an easier ride in an attempt to qualify for the equestrian events in August. Samantha Lam, Kenneth Cheng Man-kit, Patrick Lam and Jennifer Lee will attempt their Olympic certificate of capability (COC) at a special qualifier in Hagen, Germany, next Wednesday. They will be joined by Chinese riders Li Zhenqiang and Huang Zuping at the stables of champion German trainer Paul Schockemoehle. 'I think they'll make it as easy as possible for these riders,' Cheng, 20, said. 'It won't be too easy, but it won't be extremely difficult.' While out-of-competition qualifiers are not uncommon, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) usually grants such qualifiers when a competition isn't available in the rider's region. But with the June 30 qualification deadline two months away and with all six riders based in Europe, there are multiple competitions in which they can attempt to qualify. Neither the Chinese nor the Hong Kong jumpers have qualified yet. The attempt in Germany, which received FEI approval, was originally organised to help ensure Chinese jumpers would be able to compete at the Olympics and the Hong Kong riders were then invited to also participate. Riders without a COC are not permitted to compete at the Games. The FEI said last night 'We want to give as much experience as possible to the Hong Kong and Chinese riders. It's a question of facilitating the host nation so their riders can get the experience.' Cheng, who is in Hong Kong to participate in tomorrow's torch relay, said he hoped to qualify his Jockey Club-sponsored horse, Jockey Club Can Do. The pairing have attempted their COC twice, the latest being on March 30 when they had 16 faults in a grand prix competition (four faults are allowed). While the course must be built to FEI specifications, there are variances on difficulty and technical aspects. In that respect, some attempts are more challenging than others and it appears the course will be constructed for the sole purpose of securing Chinese representation at the Olympic events. Cheng, who will follow the Hagen attempt with shows in Linz (Austria), Copenhagen and Rome, said he did not feel more pressure to qualify Jockey Club Can Do at the specially organised attempt than he did in the grand prix class at a scheduled horse show. 'For me [this is] another opportunity to get my COC because, to be honest, it's not as easy as people think,' Cheng said. Lam and her horse, Jockey Club Tresor, last attempted a qualifier on April 20, when she finished with nine faults, while Lee attempted her COC with Mr Burns in March. While the International Olympic Committee ruled Lee ineligible to represent Hong Kong because she holds an American passport, it is understood she will be at the Hagen qualifier. Cheng, who will carry the Olympic torch on horseback around the Sha Tin track tomorrow, said the decision to fly from his base in Belgium to Hong Kong was difficult. 'I would like to stay home and train because Hagen is a good opportunity for me to get my COC, but for an event like the Olympic torch relay, it's very meaningful,' said Cheng.