Hong Kong’s Jacqueline Siu salutes ‘beautiful’ partner after winning silver at the National Games
Despite going into the dressage competition with a reserve horse with little time to get to know one another, the pair hit it off with an outstanding performance in Tianjin
Hong Kong’s Jacqueline Siu Wing-ying made the most of a new partnership with a quirkily named horse to take silver in the dressage competition at the National Games in Tianjin on Monday.
Siu and her reserve horse, Jockey Club Fuerst on Tour, won Hong Kong’s second equestrian medal in Tianjin after going into the competition as Hong Kong’s lone entry in the discipline.
Siu and Jockey Club Fuerst on Tour went into the final after finishing third in the intermediate round where they scored 69.692 points. The exciting combination showed no shortage of skill and courage as they improved their freestyle final score to 70.125 at the Metropolitan Polo Club.
The result squeezed Wu Ya of Jiangsu, the leader after the first round, into third place, with Huang Chaoqin of Guangdong lifting gold after two rounds of consistent performances.
Siu, 34, who has represented Hong Kong at different international events but was making her National Games debut, was over the moon after her outstanding performance in the competition.
She continually showed her appreciation for the horse by petting him during the competition.
It was Hong Kong’s second medal at the Games after Clarissa Lyra rode to bronze in showjumping last week.
“Yesterday I was able to up my game a lot more and it was good enough to get a silver medal,” said Siu, who narrowly missed out on a medal at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games after finishing fourth.
“It has been a fantastic experience. Obviously winning the medal has topped the week.”
The silver medallist did not forget to praise her horse, who was preferred to her regular choice, Jockey Club Connery, after showing good form in Tianjin.
“He is the most beautiful horse and you just have to look at him and he’s absolutely stunning ... the show was quite demanding for both of us, especially as we were getting to know each other after such a short period of time. I felt we had a very good partnership going. He trusted me in the arena and I could ride him to maximum power.”
With the support of the Jockey Club, Hong Kong sent its largest-ever equestrian team to Tianjin, competing in all three disciplines for the first time with eight riders, who are supported by an 11-strong team of the Club’s vets, farriers and other support staff.
The Club also spent millions of dollars buying or renting horses to boost their medal chances.
However, the jumping team finished ninth and last in the team event and it was left to young team member Clarissa Lyra to save their campaign with a bronze medal in the individual jumping.
They still have the chances to win more silverware as the eventing gets underway on Tuesday. “Now it’s up to the eventers and I’m really hopeful for them as they are in good form and their horses are doing well. It should be exciting,” said Siu.
In the swimming pool, Kenneth To King-him managed seventh place in the 100 metre freestyle final with a time of 49.62 seconds. But he still has another medal chance as just 30 minutes later after the freestyle final, he was back in the pool to finish fifth overall in the 200 metre individual medley semi-finals to qualify for the final on Tuesday.
In triathlon, Hong Kong missed out on a medal after the mixed relay team came fourth.