“He’s Been a Part of My Life for Over 10 Years”: Horse Back Rider Walks Down Nostalgic Lane Upon Saddening News

Published 03/16/2023, 2:45 PM EDT

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The Chinese horseback rider, Alex Hua Tian, has made many heads turn his way through his incredible flair in his beloved equestrian arena. From becoming the first Chinese to be registered with International Federation for Equestrian Sports to clinching a silver and a bronze in the Asian games, Tian has covered it all. More so, recently he stood atop the podium in Italy by claiming the gold medal at the CCI level-4 event. Nevertheless, the Chinese rider credits the major chunk of his successful career to his horse – Don Geniro. 

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Don Geniro is a 16-year-old horse who accompanied the 33-year-old Tian at the 2016 Rio Olympics and helped him finish 8th in the Olympic equestrian individual event and 25th in the Eventing individual at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Interestingly, for over a decade, Geniro helped Tian cross a lot of hurdles and maintained his commendable spree of clinching accolades. However, this year, Geniro got retired from the sport and left his comrade in utter nostalgia.

Alex Hua Tian walks down the nostalgic lane following the retirement of Don Geniro

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Recently, the 33-year-old Chinese horseback rider pulled off the curtains from the amity he shared with Geniro for the last 10 years. In an interview with Horse & Hound, Tian stated, “he’s been my top horse for such a long time now – he’s been part of my life for over 10 years.” He further reminisced about the solidarity they shared at the 2016 Rio Olympics and 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “We’ve been to two Olympic games, but it’s not just the championships, the results, the highs, and lows – and there have been plenty of highs and lows he’s also been a horse that’s taught me a huge amount, not just about riding and the experience of going to championships, but about management at home”.

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In his heartfelt appreciation for Geniro, Tian added, “He‘s very much been a horse where if you get the management right, he’ll come out and do well for you. If you don’t quite get the educated guesswork right, that’s where we stumbled from time to time. So he taught me so much about planning and organization and making sure all those little details are as good as possible and the importance of that”. 

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Adding to his encomium for Geniro, the Chinese horseback rider went above and beyond to appreciate Geniro’s support throughout his career. “He’s done a lot through the years and been a tremendously important horse for me and my career”, said the Olympian. 

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Detailing the reason for his retirement, Tian mentioned that the showjumping event is now becoming more significant in the championships today and, because it is not Geniro’s strong point, “it felt like now was the right time for him to take a step back from higher-level eventing”. Interestingly, Geniro is well-versed in dressage and hunter trails. Thus, after his retirement, the 16-year-old will now take up a new career as a schoolmaster junior dressage horse. Though Geniro still holds a lucrative prowess in dressage skills and earned a hoard full of accolades for his commendable spree, his absence in the upcoming Olympics will surely create a void for Tian. 

WATCH THIS STORY: Top 10 Moments of Olympic Sporting Spirit

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Written by:

Purva Jain

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Purva Jain is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Mody University of Science and Technology. Purva is an avid reader and author of 3 books that are published in national and international marketplaces.
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Edited by:

Debmallya Chakraborty

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