‘Oh my gosh – it’s actually happening”: London Horse Show first-timer makes comeback after Tokyo heartbreak

  • The London Horse Show dressage freestyle, supported by Horse & Hound, got underway this evening, forming the London leg of the World Cup circuit. The first rider into the arena was Singapore’s Caroline Chew, who rode the 17-year-old Solos Landtinus gelding Tribiani to 70.16% on their first appearance at the London International Horse Show.

    London-based lawyer Caroline made history earlier this year in Tokyo by becoming the first Singaporean equestrian to compete at an Olympic Games. Sadly her Olympic experience with Tribiani was cut short when the pair were eliminated from the grand prix under blood rules , an experience Caroline describes as “very hard”. 

    “I’ve gone through the whole spectrum [of emotions]. I wasn’t very sure whether I wanted to come back,” admitted Caroline, for whom the London Horse show is the first competition since the Olympics. “I‘m a lawyer and I do riding on the side, and they are very high-pressure things to do together. So I went through the whole spectrum and then decided I needed to move on and get back in the ring.

    “This was a big [show] to come back to, but I live in London, my colleagues are here and my friends are here. It was the one I really wanted to do,” said Caroline, who trains with Matt Frost.

    Their test started with some trouble in the first piaffe, but improved as they went on, with plenty of highlights.

    “He was very, very electric,” said Caroline of her performance with “Joey”. “I’m a huge fan of Olympia and I’ve watched it for literally years, so I knew that people cheer when you come in, but even so when I went in, and there was this wall of noise, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s actually happening, and I think I was a bit scared. So Joey was a bit tentative at he start but he came through really nicely by the end.”

    The top riders from yesterday’s grand prix compete later this evening in the London Horse Show dressage freestyle. Germany’s Frederic Wandres and Duke Of Britain FRH, second, in the grand prix ride at 9.20pm, followed by Denmark’s Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Atterupgaards Orthilia at 9.29pm. Britain’s Lottie Fry and Dark Legend enter the arena at 9.38pm while grand prix winners Charlotte Dujardin and Gio, and favourites for the win tonight, ride last at 9.56pm.

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