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China's first Olympic equestrian encourages horseback riding

02-01-2014 11:30 BJT Special Report:2014 Spring Festival |

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By CCTV correspondent Ma Shuo

Few creatures inspire our admiration more than horses. And with the arrival of the Chinese year of the horse, there’s one man who literally spends all day with the animals, as part of his career. China’s first Olympic equestrian Alex Hua Tian, who has settled in the UK for daily training, shares his insight into horses, one of the world’s best-loved and most highly prized animals.

Excusing himself from another long and lonely training session, Alex Hua Tian has come to spectate at the London International Horse Show for some new year fun. The 24-year-old equestrian says he continues to develop as a rider, getting to know each of his horses, and establishing his career alongside them.

China’s first Olympic equestrian Alex Hua Tian, who has settled in the UK for daily training,
shares his insight into horses, one of the world’s best-loved and most highly prized animals.

"They are wonderful animals. They love working with you, they love doing things with you, and they are very sensitive as well. If you get your questions wrong, if you get your challenges wrong, they are very quick to, sort of worry about it and be sensitive. so you should always be very careful." Alex Hua Tian said.

Born to a Chinese father and a British mother, Alex burst onto the international scene when he became the first rider to represent China at the Olympics in 2008. He was also the youngest ever rider in the event. Despite all the buzz surrounding him, Alex says spending so much time with horses is just a great way to grow up.

"Determination. When you are training the horse, you have to be the boss...but is determination without being dominant. and it also teaches you a lot about working as a team, organization, and being responsible. You know, these horses rely on you to be responsible, they rely on you to feed them, rely on you to love them, and comfort them, and train them and look after them properly. And it teaches you a lot about responsibility, you know. I can’t go on holiday for 6 month, and just leave the horses here. They are not car, you can put in the garage and leave." Alex Hua Tian said.

China’s first Olympic equestrian Alex Hua Tian, who has settled in the UK for
daily training, shares his insight into horses, one of the world’s best-loved
and most highly prized animals.

Taking the year of the horse as a source of pride, Alex hopes the occasion will inspire more people to get involved with horseback riding.

"It’s an opportunity for me to really broaden the horizon of horse sport and horse enjoyment in China, what I really like to do is , for people, not necessarily to be involved in the sport of top level, you know, it takes a lot of time, experience, and it’s very expensive sports to be involved in. But it’s not expensive, not difficult to be involved in at lower levels, just try and gets your kids to come along, and start to having lessons, you know it just like piano lessons, you know, the earlier you start the better. And if you can get them enthusiastic and get them enjoin it when they are young, and develop the passion, then in 12 years time hopefully, the next year of horse we would have a huge following of hours lovers in China." Alex Hua Tian said.

The horse is revered as a sacred animal in almost every civilization. And for a horse-loving nation like the UK, the Chinese new year festivity is a not-to-be missed occasion to celebrate everything equestrian. For example, right here at Britain’s iconic department store Harrods is a special window display to mark the year of the horse. So be prepared to get off to a galloping start with the arrival of Chinese new year.

 

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source:

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