Singapore para-rider Laurentia Tan wins silver in world meet

Above: Laurentia Tan, with her gelding Fuerst Sherlock, competed in the para-dressage individual championship grade I event at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, on Wednesday. Left: Tan, who has one silver and three bronze medals fr
Above: Laurentia Tan, with her gelding Fuerst Sherlock, competed in the para-dressage individual championship grade I event at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, on Wednesday.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ TRYON2018
Above: Laurentia Tan, with her gelding Fuerst Sherlock, competed in the para-dressage individual championship grade I event at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, on Wednesday. Left: Tan, who has one silver and three bronze medals fr
Tan, who has one silver and three bronze medals from the Paralympics, applauding gold medallist Sara Morganti on the podium.PHOTO: FEI/LIZ GREGG

Para-equestrienne's relentless work ethic rewarded with 2nd place in North Carolina

Decorated para-equestrienne Laurentia Tan added another major honour to her collection when she rode her way to a silver medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games on Wednesday.

The Singaporean was competing in the individual championship grade I event at the Federation Equestre Internationale's quadrennial Games at the Tryon Stadium in North Carolina, United States.

Riding on her nine-year-old gelding, Fuerst Sherlock, the 39-year-old scored 73.750 per cent to be second behind Italy's Sara Morganti (74.750 per cent). Germany's Elke Philipp (73.143 per cent) claimed bronze.

"I feel really, really ecstatic. To be honest, I am surprised to win the silver," Tan told The Straits Times in a phone interview yesterday.

"The medal means so much to me as it is not only won through my own effort, there is also a big team behind me who helped me and not forgetting Sherlock as well."

Team manager Monique Heah lauded the rider's latest achievement, saying: "Laurentia was so in sync with her horse.

"It is harder for Laurentia because she lives in the UK but Sherlock lives in Germany. But she travels regularly to train hard with her horse."

SIMPLY THRILLED

I feel really, really ecstatic. To be honest, I am surprised to win the silver. The medal means so much to me as it is not only won through my own effort, there is also a big team behind me who helped me and not forgetting Sherlock as well.

LAURENTIA TAN, national para-equestrienne, on her unexpected finish at the World Equestrian Games.

The FEI groups its para-competitors into five grades, I to V, with those in grade I being the most severely impaired.

Tan is one of Singapore's most successful para-athletes.

She won two bronzes - in the individual championship test and individual freestyle test - at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

At London 2012, she won a silver in the individual freestyle test and another bronze in the individual championship test.

The 2012 ST Athlete of the Year also clinched a bronze in the individual para-dressage championship test Grade Ia at the 2014 World Equestrian Games.

Last year, she was inducted into the Sport Hall of Fame at the Singapore Sports Hub alongside Olympic gold medallist Joseph Schooling and para-swimmer Theresa Goh.

Tan will be back in action tomorrow in the freestyle grade I event, a routine accompanied by music.

As Heah revealed, preparations for Tan's routine is painstaking work as the rider is deaf.

To compete in the freestyle event, the Paralympian would decide on and practise a routine. After the patterns are finalised, the music will be composed to harmonise with the movements. At competitions, team officials will signal to Tan when the music starts.

Heah said: "It has been challenging, but Laurentia has trained so hard on her horse. Her movement is so accurate."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2018, with the headline 'World silver for Tan'. Print Edition | Subscribe