Athletes in search of right chemistry

Caroline Chew's partner in sport is a polite, attention-loving, workaholic nicknamed Joey and their collaboration is so fine that they have won multiple SEA Games medals without exchanging a single word. She loves him so "completely" that he's the wallpaper on her phone. He is so tuned to her that he can recognise her by the sound of her footsteps. But she's the boss with the whip and he follows her every nuanced command. Well, most of the time.

Chew is an equestrienne, Joey - real name Tribiani - is a chestnut-coloured horse, and if he could talk he'd say exactly what she does: "You have to have chemistry." Not the literal stuff you do in a lab, but the figurative alchemy between two creatures which sometimes turns them into one spectacular sporting being.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 04, 2018, with the headline 'Athletes in search of right chemistry'. Print Edition | Subscribe