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Vivian Chang

Vivian Chang

Profile

  • Age: 29
  • Favourite Horse: Blue Hors Matine because she seemed to love dressage as much as any horse could!
  • Greatest Moment: Biarritz CDI3* 2012
  • Words of Wisdom: Every weather is good weather!
  • Star Sign: Cancer
  • Essential Piece of Kit: A comfortable saddle for my horse.
  • Aim for 2015: To have more international experience with my mare before the Asian Games 2014 and to learn to ride Grand Prix at home
  • Hero or Heroine: Isabell Werth and Anky Van Grunsven. I always get goosebumps watching them ride!

Biography

I was born and grew up in Taiwan where horse riding is not very popular as it is expensive and the climate isn’t suitable for horses. However, I accidentally went to Hanover Riding Club in Taipei with a friend and got completely hooked. Since then, I spent most of my time out of school with horses. As most other young riders in Taiwan, I was more interested in show jumping and didn’t enjoy doing flat work for more than 15 minutes at a time. I started to show jump and competed as much as I could with a borrowed horse, Combo, a 10 year old Selle Francais. With him, I learned how to jump big fences and also how to fall off!

Now I am a chemistry DPhil (PhD) student at Oxford University. During my first and second year of study, I joined the Oxford University Riding Club and competed in the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) league, where riders compete in dressage and show jumping on borrowed horses. This was when I started to become more interested in flat work and improving the way horses move. I bought my first horse George in 2008, a 6 year old KWPN gelding who loved to jump but was very spooky in arenas. We spent one year together, did lots of training and hacking and won many times at Newcomer level. George was then sold to a professional rider as my studying commitments prevented me from being a horse owner for a while.

Later, I went to many different yards for schoolmaster lessons and, in the end, I came to Talland, where they I learned to ride different types of horses. Then, in 2010, I bought my first dressage horse Savio from Annemieke Vincourt who had been training me and Savio for many months in Holland. Although he had very little competition experience and was still in Novice points, he learnt everything so quickly and was the most forgiving horse I’ve ever ridden. Back in England in 2011, we began competing at PSG level with Pammy Hutton’s and Jonny Clarke-West’s guidance and did lots of Premier League shows in the UK. We did our first international together, Deauville CDI3* in 2012 then went to Biarritz CDI3* where he got his best result in the Inter1 Freestyle.

As my eyes are really on the Asian Games 2014, I realize I needed more than one horse to compete. So, I acquired my mare Zola in March this year. She was bred to show jump and jumped before starting her dressage career with Nicky Barrett. Although dressage was new to her, Zola is so talented and kind. We did our first PSG test in May 2013 and our first international at Hickstead CDI3* in Aug. I am lucky to have two very willing horses to be my competition partners and also very thankful to my current trainer Ferdi Eilberg.

The 2013 winter season and 2014 is a crucial year for me to improve and be more competitive at international shows. Also, I was given a 4 year old trakhner gelding called Solstice to break and compete. So I am looking forward to fun training, lots of road trips and finishing my doctoral degree. Good times!

Sponsors:

RB Equestrian Science-top

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