Members of the public in the Chinese Mainland will have an opportunity to experience Hong Kong's world-class horse racing at the Exhibition Raceday, a first-of-its-kind racing sports event of world-class standard, staged by The Hong Kong Jockey Club in collaboration with Conghua District Government at Conghua Racecourse on 23 March, 2019.
“Conghua Racecourse is the first racecourse and training center for thoroughbreds in the Mainland which meets the highest international standards. Since its official opening in August this year, we have witnessed how horses benefit from its top-of-the-class facilities. To support Conghua's vision to become a national and international tourist destination with its natural beauty and hot springs, we will hold exhibition racing to showcase the sport of horse racing with the beauty and speed of thoroughbred horses as well as our world-class jockeys in action,” said Club CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.
“In addition, Conghua Racecourse can also serve as a platform to support the development of an equine industry in the Greater Bay Area, and with the potential to support equine sports development for the whole nation through capability building of a strong local equestrian workforce that meets international standards,” he added.
“Currently, approximately 90 per cent of staff at Conghua Racecourse is recruited locally in Conghua and other areas of the Mainland. They receive professional training under our internationally accredited programmes that have successfully groomed a rich pool of racing staff in Hong Kong over the decades. Our staff in Conghua Racecourse has been developed with professional knowledge and skills in a wide range of work areas including horse care, riding and riding instruction, veterinary, and farriery, which over time will expand to all areas of racing expertise,” said Club Executive Director, Racing Andrew Harding.
“The Exhibition Raceday will be held according to the standards and arrangements of a regular race day in Hong Kong. Five exhibition races on the day will be run under the governance of Rules of Racing of the Club, with the participation of only Hong Kong-based horses, trainers and jockeys, including all of the sampling, laboratory analysis, veterinary regulation and other controls in place in Hong Kong,” he added.
“In compliance with the laws and policies of the Mainland, the Club will not offer betting on the races. There will be no live broadcasts of the races. Each race will be broadcast in Hong Kong with a 15 minute delay from the start of the race. Selected media outlets in the Mainland will broadcast the races with a one hour delay,” said Club Executive Director, Customer and International Business Development Richard Cheung.
“We have been working closely with the relevant Mainland Government agencies for the planning of the Exhibition Raceday. I would like to thank the Guangdong Provincial Government and their Sports Bureau; the Guangzhou Municipal Government and their Sports Bureau; and the Conghua District Government for their great support,” he added.
Situated in the Conghua District of Guangzhou in Guangdong Province and spread across 150 hectares, Conghua Racecourse can house more than 660 active, in-training horses at its current stable capacity. Around 160 horses are being stabled and trained at Conghua Racecourse at the moment. These horses have been doing well on the racetrack, producing 40 Wins out of 300 races as of the end of 2018.
The Club is a long-standing supporter of equine sport in the Mainland. Since 1984, the Club has donated more than 1,000 retired racehorses to sports teams in different provinces and cities. The Club was honoured as an “Outstanding Contributor” for constructing the equestrian venues of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games. The Club is also a supporter for the LONGINES China Tour organised by the Chinese Equestrian Association. It has been sponsoring the Hong Kong Jockey Club Cup Guangzhou Final, a 3-star jumping competition accredited by the Fédération Equestre Internationale for the fifth consecutive year.
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