Alex Hua Tian wins the HSBC Rising Star Award at the FEI Congress in Copenhagen
FEI Press Release, Copenhagen, Denmark, 19 November 2009 (Video)
One of equestrianism’s brightest hopes for the future, Alex Hua Tian, was tonight awarded the first ever HSBC Rising Star accolade at the prestigious FEI Awards.
Photo: Alex Hua Tian receives HSBC Rising Star Award from Princess Haya, President of the FEI and Kate Fuller, HSBC's Sponsorship Manager
Last year Alex became the first Chinese event rider to compete at the Olympics — at the tender age of 18. He bore the enormous pressure of huge media interest around the world — he was described in the Chinese press as “one in 1.3billion” — extremely well, and rode with flair and maturity in Beijing.
Now 20, Alex has finished his studies at Eton and is continuing to event, consistently achieving better and better international results.
Alex’s plan for 2010 is to compete at the FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA, and he will be the first Chinese rider to do so. He qualified for the Games with one of his best international results to date — seventh at The Blenheim International Horse Trials in Oxfordshire, one of Great Britain’s most prestigious horse trials.
“I’ve had an incredible two years — the Olympics was an experience I will never forget,” says Alex. “I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve received, and look forward to achieving more of my goals next year. My ambition is to bring this thrilling sport to more people in China and throughout Asia.”
Alex was born in London to a Chinese father and an English mother, and started riding at the age of four in Beijing and later Hong Kong. His family moved to Wiltshire in England when he was 11, and he started training with Australian Olympic event riders Lucinda and Clayton Fredericks. Alex and his family now live in Wiltshire. He has a brother, Jamie.
Alex is also an ambassador for the Red Cross in China.
Young people from a wide variety of disciplines and from all over the globe were nominated for this prize, one of the most coveted in the equine world. The judging panel, which was chaired by FEI President HRH Princess Haya — who herself show jumped at Olympic level — chose Alex from among 300 nominees from all over the world.
"Alex’s tremendous achievement in becoming the first Chinese event rider at the Olympics symbolises the FEI’s commitment to advancing the growth of equestrian sport worldwide,” said HRH Princess Haya. “He possesses great talent, and reinforces this with sympathetic riding, good horsemanship and a mature, balanced attitude to his success.”
These new awards have been designed to reward the fair play, team spirit, inspiration and prowess that equine competition espouses, as well as celebrating the outstanding achievements of our often-underrated athletes. The awards were presented at a glittering ceremony hosted by the BBC’s Clare Balding during the FEI’s General Assembly in Copenhagen, Denmark.