An initiative of Horse Sport Ireland

Interview with Ruxin Ding – Chinese Equestrian Student

General July 21, 2017

One of HSI’s AIRE approved centres, Clonshire have been very active hosting international students in recent times one such student is Ruxin, a nineteen year old Chinese student from Beidaihe, Hebei Province. Ruxin talks of his love for the Irish Sport Horse its versatility and suitability to the Chinese rider.

Elaine Hatton, Horse Sport Ireland Director of International Marketing said:

Clonshire Equestrian Centre deserve a huge amount of credit for their work in attracting international students such as Ruxin Ding and the South Korean groups that they hosted last year. Ireland has a huge amount to offer from an equestrian point of view and businesses who work hard and reach out to the global market are seeing the benefits.”

See Rusin’s full interview below:

1. Ruxin, firstly can you tell me about yourself and how you became involved in the
equestrian industry?

I am a nineteen year old Chinese student from Beidaihe, Hebei Province. My father
Minjun Ding is a business man who has always had a great love and passion for
horses. His keen interest in the Equestrian industry led to the establishment of
Beidaihe British International Equestrian Centre. My interest grew from this. I
started riding at 16 years old, developed the same passion for horses and knew very
quickly this would be my career. Since then, I have had a Chinese tutor in veterinary
medicine.

2. What is the main focus of the Beidaihe British International Equestrian Centre?

We endeavour to educate the Chinese mind to the correct care of horses, to learn to
ride properly, to learn how to manage a stable yard and equestrian business
efficiently.

3. How did you become interested in Ireland and the British Horse Society (BHS)
System?

I initially discovered the BHS System from the internet. I saw it as a mature system,
professional and a suitable training programme for a good manager. I then met
Susan Barrett, CEO of Select Ireland, who specializes in the Equestrian, Education,
and Irish Immigrant Investor sectors in the Chinese Market. Susan recommended
and facilitated that I come to Ireland to train at Clonshire Equestrian Centre, Adare,
Co. Limerick, who are market leaders in training and education of students for
professional careers in the Equestrian industry. The University of Limerick Equine
Degree programme and County Limerick & Clare Education and Training Board’s
International Equine Instructor BHSAI course are both hosted here. Susan
introduced me to Sue Foley, BHSII and manager at Clonshire and I decided to follow
this route.

4. What have been some of the highlights of your equestrian experience in Ireland?

For me the best part was discovering the versatility of the Irish Sport Horse, who is a
superb animal and will really suit the Chinese rider. My training with international
coaches Sue and Dan Foley at Clonshire Equestrian Centre was outstanding. I
successfully achieved the following internationally recognized BHS qualifications,
BHS Riding & Road Safety Examination, BHS Stage 1 Care & Riding Examinations, BHS
Stage 2 Care & Riding Examinations, BHS Stage 3 Care & Riding Examinations and
BHS PTT of which I am very proud. I was also given the unique opportunity to
compete in Eventing with an amazing horse, to hunt with the Co Limerick
Foxhounds, who are based in Clonshire and to compete in a combined training event
in Millstreet all of which I could never have imagined. My competence and style
across all disciplines, Dressage, Showjumping and Cross Country have greatly
improved.

5. What other important qualities have you learned at Clonshire?

I have learned a lot of English which will really help establish my centre as an
outstanding place to progress in Equestrian Skills. My self-confidence, independence
and my ability to mix with others from different cultural backgrounds are greatly
improved. My communication skills have been greatly enhanced while learning to
understand what others need and feel. My time at Clonshire had been very special.
My superb, professional coaches, Dan and Sue Foley have been like my Irish parents.
They have made me feel very welcome and have helped me in every way, especially
in how I can improve my own situation.

I have learned a very good leadership style from Dan. He has taught me to be
assertive and positive. Equally, Sue has taught me the power of encouragement. I
can now work well with different age groups and have learned how to teach
different standards of rider in my training as a Coach in Ireland. I will continue my
connection with Sue and Dan on both a personal and professional level.

6. What are your future plans for your equestrian career and how do you hope to
develop the Beidaihe British International Equestrian Centre?

I plan to develop Beidaihe British International Equestrian Centre as a BHS approved
training centre where riders can come to acquire a professional, progressive
approach and obtain the qualifications for a solid career in the equestrian industry in
cooperation with Clonshire Equestrian Centre. My aim is that my clients will learn
the correct approach to achieve optimum results in both improving their riding and
training their horses. I intend to achieve this in part by bringing more riders from
China to Clonshire to train there and by importing quality Irish Horses and ponies
from Clonshire to help enable riders reach their full potential. I will then expand the
business by sourcing suitable horses for my clients. Plans to develop a competition
network with other centres to further enhance and feed our equestrian education
and to become a certified centre of training excellence are also under way.

7. What are currently the main challenges in the equestrian business arena between
Ireland and China?

The current quarantine regulations along with the lengthy administration required
for the importation of horses should be reviewed regularly and made as easy as
possible. The introduction of a direct flight between Ireland and China would also
greatly enhance ease of travel for both travellers and horse transport. This will lead
to greater ease of doing business between the two countries and to more students
coming to train in Ireland.

8. Finally in your opinion what can we do collectively i.e. Business and Government
to keep improving our relationship with China?

Despite the cultural diversities, languages differences and distance, I have found it
very easy so far to do business in Ireland and I think the two countries can really
build up good working relations. The regular exchange of information in particular in
relation to any changes in quarantine and importation regulations is particularly
important to trade.

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