China's Hua Tian in lead at Tattersalls
The man whose nickname is "One in a Billion", China's Alex Hua Tian, took the lead in the Irish Field CCI 3-Star at Tattersalls International Horse Trials in Ratoath, Co Meath yesterday.
Taking a fall when he was China's first and only Olympic three-day eventer at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, he didn't qualify for London 2012 but bounced back when finishing eighth, just ahead of Ireland's Jonty Evans, in Rio two years ago.
The Hong-Kong raised, Eton-educated 28-year-old steered his Rio ride, Don Geniro, into pole position in the dressage phase yesterday.
Starting 17th of the 43 contenders, he posted a score of 24.6 and lies just over one penalty point ahead of 27-year-old Swede, Ludwig Svennerstal (El Kazir SP) while New Zealand's Tim Price (Cekatinka) is in third.
Best of the Irish is Jonty Evans in sixth with Clara M.
British-based Corkman, Austin O'Connor holds 11th place with Kilpatrick Knight and will be hoping to climb up the leaderboard with a good showing in tomorrow's cross-country phase. Just over five penalty-points separate the top 10, which also includes Grand Slam champion Pippa Funnell from Great Britain.
Hua Tian, who is a pioneer for equestrian sport across China, is one of 22 Olympians competing at the popular Tattersalls event which runs through to Sunday.