Photo - Lottie Elizabeth Photography.
Chinese Olympic star Alex Hua Tian is in the lead in the CCI3*-S class after dressage at Alnwick Ford International Horse Trials.
The 31-year-old, who is due to compete at the Tokyo Olympics next month, scored 25.6 aboard Vivian Gu’s Hamlet, a nine-year-old whom he bought from showjumper Joe Davison.
Alex said: “It was a good test - he’s very flashy on the flat - but the nice thing is that there is a huge amount of room for improvement, even at this level. He’s a very talented horse but hasn’t had that much mileage for his age; he’s a real people-pleaser who always wants to be in your face and having cuddles.”
Second in the CCI3*-S is Willa Newton, with a mark of 26.4 on Laurence and Anne Marshall’s Cock A Doodle Doo, another nine-year-old. Alexandra Farrar-Fry (Grey Finnsky) is third with 28.1.
Adam Morgan and his seven-year-old gelding Manfriday top the CCI2*-S class at this stage with a dressage mark of 26.7, ahead of second-placed Stephanie Sacks (Guidaro) on 28.6. Eliza Stoddart is third with 28.9 on De Pleasure.
This is the first time that Alnwick Ford International Horse Trials, which is situated between Newcastle and Alnwick in Northumberland, UK, has run a CCI3*-S class. The jumping phases of both international sections take place tomorrow (Saturday, 26 June), with national eventing classes on Sunday, 27 June. Alnwick Ford’s cross-country course is designed by David Evans, who is responsible for building the cross-country course for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.