Hong Kong’s Asian Games gold medallist Jacqueline Siu jets off to chase glory at debut World Equestrian Games in US
City’s first Indonesia 2018 champion jets off to blue riband event in North Carolina with a new taste for glory and a new partner
It seems there’s no rest for those striving in pursuit of greatness and attempting to put their country on the map. Jacqueline Siu Wing-ying, who won the first gold medal for Hong Kong at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia on Thursday, and the first equestrian medal for the city at the Asian Games, had little time to enjoy her historic triumph as she prepared to jet off to the United States.
No sooner had the camera shutters stopped and the adulation of the Hong Kong press pack died down, than she was off to the airport on her next campaign.
Last night, she flew out to Tryon, North Carolina to prepare to compete at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), which start on September 11. She will take a new partner at the blue riband meet, her mare Ferrera, and attempt to show the world that she and Hong Kong can compete on the grandest stage.
It is the first time Hong Kong has ever qualified for the WEG in individual dressage, and Siu’s gold-medal winning performance in Jakarta, has given her a confidence boost for the quadrennial event.
“I want to continue showing people that [Hong Kong] mean business and we’re out to get good results,” Siu said. “We can ride well and we can train the horses well. We’ll be around.”
In between talking about her relief at finally realising her goal of medalling at the Asian Games, at a fourth time of asking, she talked about the pressures of elite riding and said that the life of a professional rider is far from a normal one.
“This is decades of hard work so just to get this result is a dream come true,” the 35-year-old said.
“We worked so hard to get the best result we could and I’m glad it all paid off. It made it all worthwhile.
“Since January, [JC Fuerst on Tour and I] have spent every day together. It’s not an office job – It’s not nine to five,” Siu said.
“The horses need care all of the time and it’s a bit like a child. If they’re not feeling well, if they’re not happy about something, you have to reassure them,” she added. “It doesn’t matter what time it is. If they need you, you have to be there, and so we spent a lot of time together and I think that’s really paid off.”
Tearing up as she thanked her parents for their support and those who helped her finally claim an elusive Asian Games medal, Siu talked again about the special bond she has developed with her partner, which came to fruition in Indonesia.
“We spent a lot of time together. It’s not just about the training, it’s not just about the riding – I looked after him in the stable as well and we spent many hours bonding. We’re friends outside of the arena. In the stables, when he sees me he gets very excited. We’re always happy to see each other.
“Our bond is so strong now, he’ll try his hardest for me. [Thursday] was very, very hot – probably the hottest day – and I said, ‘please, please do this for me’, and he was like, ‘yes, I’ll do it for you’. That’s a wonderful feeling.”
Inevitably, Siu fielded questions about her chances of medalling at the Tokyo Games in two years.
“Definitely Tokyo would be a fantastic achievement and we’ll continue working hard to get there,” she added.
Then there was just enough time to grant the gathered Hong Kong media their wish of a group photo opportunity with the city’s newest gold medal hero, before her journey continued.