HOW IT ALL BEGAN

One day Zuping wanted to relax from the stress of his work and drove to a farmer who rented horses to tourists. He rode out a long way to forget the hectic life of the 13 million people in Beijing. However, the horse Zuping had rented had different plans. The horse threw his rider and Zuping had to walk back over an hour to the stable. ¡§This happened several times to me.? I had so many accidents, broke my collarbone and different other things. So I thought about learning to ride properly¡¨.

In 1999 Zuping Huang went to the best riding club in Beijing ¡V the Jin Shan Club. ¡§They had very good schooling horses. Even the people from the German Embassy went there.¡¨ From that day Zuping went riding every day. ¡§It was so much fun to me. ?There was no indoor riding arena.We always rode outside ¡V even if it was 4 or 5 degrees below zero.¡¨

One year later he bought his first horse from Hong Kong. The name of this favourite horse was Xinufe, which means happy. With this horse he took part in the Chinese Championships and the qualification series for the Asian Games. ¡§You can win points on six shows and the best six riders are allowed to go to the Asian Games. I was ranked 13th. This was very good and a surprise for everybody. Normally, the top 30 riders are Chinese professional riders.It is like in the former German Democratic Republic ¡V our professional riders do nothing else than riding and are paid by the government.

 

MOVING TO GERMANY AND CLOSER TO THE DREAM

On a business trip in 2002 he met George Morris, a trainer from the United States, who explained ¡§There are six years left until the Olympic games. You have to send your riders to me or to Germany for training. Otherwise you will have no chance¡¨. Zuping immediately wrote a letter to the Chinese Equestrian Association ¡V The CEA. They were very surprised. One of the problems was money. The CEA did not have enough money and it was not possible to get a budget from the government.

In March 2003 Zuping travelled at his own expense to Germany. He left his company to his partner and said good bye to his family and friends. In his luggage he had no horse but he did take 2 grooms with him. The contact to Germany was arranged through Karen Scheinecker from Garesch International, a Hong Kong company that sells EQUISTRO Feed Supplements. With this support he got a foothold in his new home.

With Chinese courage he firstly contacted the Holsteiner Verband and then the stallion breeder Heinrich Ramsbrock. ¡§Hello, here I am and I want to go to the Olympics. Can I ride with you?¡¨ So quotes the businessman himself 3 years later.

Heinrich Ramsbrock asked back, ¡§OK, how much money do you have?¡¨. Zuping replied ¡§Nothing¡¨ and everybody laughed. But,Zuping now had a foot in the door and rode for Ramsbrock and learned as much as he could.

 

TRAINING WITH AN OLYMPIC MEDALIST

In April 2005 Zuping moved to train with German Olympic Medallist - Ludger Beerbaum.Zuping is sure this was the right decision. ¡§Ludger has participated 5 times at the Olympics, Marco Kutscher - 1 time and Jerry Smits - 3 times ¡V so I am surrounded by riders who have attended 9 Olympic Games in total and this makes me feel very good¡¨.

Zuping admits: ¡§When Ludger enters our training arena, it is of course a little stressful. I am so small compared with him¡¨. Two times per week he trains with Heinrich Wilhelm Johannsmann who mostly looks after him at competitions he attends. Only 100 meters away from the stable Zuping has an apartment with his grooms . ?One groom must cook every day ¡V healthy food -everything for the Olympic dream.

Zuping still travels to China every 3 to 4 months to find sponsors ¡Vhe still hasn¡¦t found the right horse for Olympia. Until today he gets some support through a group of friends. Garesch International Ltd, sponsors Zuping by providing EQUISTRO Feed supplements to his horses to keep them in the very best condition. Managing Director, Karen Scheinecker, believes ¡§It is important to have dreams in life and dreams can come true. I hope by sponsoring Zuping it can help to achieve his dream. China should be very proud to have a man like Zuping who is doing everything he can to represent his country.¡¨

What will come after 2008 for Zuping? ¡§Then I will go home to China¡¨. He does not know what he wants to do when he returns home and until the Olympics are over, he doesn¡¦t want to think about it. For now his only vision is being the first Chinese Rider to qualify and compete at the Olympics¡K.and seeing his dream come true.