Hong Kong finally landed its first gold medal of the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia today when Jacqueline Siu Wing-ying and her partner, Jockey Club Fuerst on Tour, won the individual dressage.
Siu overtook Malaysia’s Mahamad Fatjil Qabil Ambak to claim gold and bring a sigh of relief to the Hong Kong team, who have suffered some narrow misses in their search for gold, particularly in fencing.
The win represents Hong Kong’s first equestrian medal at an Asian Games, and a reward for years of perseverance from Siu.
Indonesia 2018 is the 35-year-old Siu’s fourth Games and her first Asiad medal after twice finishing just short of the podium in fourth.
“I was delighted to partner Jockey Club Fuerst on Tour again and win our first Asian Games medal together,” Siu said.
“Thank you to the Hong Kong Jockey Club for providing such a talented horse and giving its support throughout our preparation.”
The Hong Kong equestrian team is funded by a multimillion-dollar investment from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which secured 10 competition horses for the team to compete in the 2017 China National Games and these Asian Games.
UK-based Siu and her 13-year-old mount were first partnered together at the National Games in Tianjin, China, last September where they claimed a silver medal.
Siu said earlier this week that her relationship with the gelding had blossomed in the run-up to these Asian Games as a result of spending more time together.
And she hinted she was confident of a gold-medal showing, saying: “The horse loves performing to music. As soon as he hears the music he thinks he’s at the disco and enjoys it. Hopefully, we’ll dance away with it on Thursday.”
Hong Kong has won only two bronze medals at Asian Games equestrian events – in team eventing at the 2014 Incheon Games and in team jumping in Guangzhou in 2010.
Dressage is one of three disciplines in equestrianism, where horse and rider are expected to perform from memory a series of predetermined movements, as the highest expression of horse training, according to the International Equestrian Federation.