The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has announced the official opening of its Conghua Racecourse, which it hails as a new era for horse racing, whilst celebrating the close relations between Hong Kong and Guandong.
Situated in the Conghua District of Guangzhou, in the Guangdong Province of south-eastern China, Conghua Racecourse provides the mainland with its first “world-class racecourse and thoroughbred training centre”.
Dr Simon S O Ip, HKJC chairman, explained: “The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a world leader in the sport of horse racing and home to some of the world’s top racehorses. Conghua Racecourse will enable us to elevate our racing to an even higher level of excellence.
“It has outstanding training and horse care facilities, including the first world-class equine hospital in the mainland. Conghua District itself has high environmental standards, with excellent air and water quality. In short, it is a superb place in which to train our horses.
“The establishment of Conghua Racecourse is a tremendous achievement, and the club is truly grateful for the support it has received from central, Guangdong and Hong Kong SAR authorities.”
Critical to the new course’s operations is its location within the “only large-scale internationally recognised equine disease-free zone,” ensuring horses enjoy the same health status in Conghua as in Hong Kong.
This means, via a series of strategic meetings and arrangements, horse are able to travel freely between the two locations.
Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, HKJC CEO, stated: “At Conghua, we have highly experienced staff, ranging from racing, tracks and veterinary management to stables staff from Hong Kong, who are working alongside local employees trained under internationally accredited programmes developed in Hong Kong.
“Together they will provide an excellent level of horse care, equal to that available in Hong Kong.”
Conghua Racecourse is to also contribute to the development of equine sports on the mainline, as well as to the wider economy and employment, whilst looking forward it has a “great potential to support the development of an equine industry, in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and in the mainland as a whole”.
Chen Jianhua, chairman of the Standing Committee of Guangzhou Municipal People’s Congress, added: “After years of persisting efforts by relevant parties, a modern, high-tech, world-class racecourse and China’s largest world-class horse sport training center is now rising in front of us.
“The opening of Conghua Racecourse lays a solid foundation for horse industry cooperation between Guangzhou and Hong Kong, opens things up for imagination and presents a promising prospect for development.”