Last season’s H&H blogger Alex Hua Tian has landed his first international victory.

The Chinese event rider, 21, rode Furst Love into first place in the CIC* at Barocca d’Alva, Portugal — beating 91 rivals in the process. The pair scored the best dressage mark of 72.1%, and were never headed.

“I am so proud of his performance,” said Alex. “It was a very competitive field, with many successful two-star horses using the event as a warm-up for the two-star next week.”

The nine-year-old Fuerstenreich gelding is owned by his breeder Jacke Mathieson and Edwina Qu Ye, and is being aimed at the Olympic test event at Greenwich this summer.

Furst Love — stablename Fred after cricketer Freddie Flintoff — is the first horse that Edwina has owned, and Barocca was the first competition she has attended.

Jacke said that she “always knew Fred was special”.

“I am speechless,” she said. “Alex and Fred have achieved so much in such a short time. I’m really looking forward to their exciting future together.”

Alex is seeking Olympic qualfication this year, and has entered two horses — Magenta and ESB Irish Fiddle — for Badminton.

For a report on how British riders fared at Barocca d’Alva, don’t miss 17 March issue of Horse & Hound magazine