Hangzhou 2022: Equestrian duo grateful to make Asiad debuts
By Patrick Johnston
Singapore equestrian riders Tara Wee and Alyssa Tan were left hungry for more after mixing it with the regional elite of the sport - including a princess - at the Asian Games in Hangzhou.
Tan finished the individual dressage in 27th and Wee 31st at the newly built Tonglu Equestrian Centre, some 100km from Hangzhou, which boasted a world-class field of talents.
“For both Tara and I, it was our first major games and it was definitely very different from what we are used to doing in local competitions at home,” Tan said after the competition ended on Wednesday (Sep 27).
“It is quite cool to be able to compete against Asia’s best riders in such nice facilities and with amazing crowds.
“We are really grateful for all the support we have received so far, especially back home. Our families, friends and coaches.”
Singapore’s Alyssa Tan pulls the reins of her horse, Frodo, during the Asian Games Individual Dressage Qualification session at the Tonglu Equestrian Centre in Hangzhou, China. (Photo: SNOC/Eng Chin An)
Tan, who started riding at the Bukit Timah Saddle Club when she was seven, rode her horse Frodo, while Wee saddled up on Jorito for the two-day competition which also featured Thai Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana.
The riders didn’t have it easy in China, with the event delayed for an hour because of soaring temperatures on Thursday.
Singapore’s Alyssa Tan smiles and pats her horse, Frodo, during the Asian Games Individual Dressage Qualification session at the Tonglu Equestrian Centre in Hangzhou, China. (Photo: SNOC/Eng Chin An)
However, the two 21-year-olds were unperturbed, looking forward to many more Asiads.
"We are both very grateful to have been given this opportunity to represent Singapore," said Wee.
"We learned a lot throughout this whole process and we will take what we have learned and improve on it for the next time we are chosen to represent Singapore."
One of those lessons was around handling nerves. Wee said she had felt the pressure of competing on such a big stage on Tuesday in the test event.
“I think because of the scale of this event, I was not prepared, this time around, in terms of my own nerves. So I think in the future I will figure a way out to calm my own nerves down better, so that I can be better for the horse,” she said.
Singapore’s Tara Wee rides her horse, Jorito, during the Asian Games Individual Dressage Qualification session at the Tonglu Equestrian Centre in Hangzhou, China. (Photo: SNOC/Eng Chin An)
The 19th Asian Games are held in Hangzhou, China from 23 September to 8 October 2023. For the latest Team Singapore coverage and news, follow Team Singapore on their social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok) or visit the official Team Singapore website.