Hong Kong’s equine legacy celebrated during session seven of Asia Horse Week, with best wishes given to Japan for the 2020 Olympic Games
The final session of the second day of Asia Horse Week brought together some key figures to talk about Hong Kong’s road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Mr. Raphael Le Masne de Chermont, began the proceedings by congratulating Japan for winning the 2020 Olympic Games.
The Executive Manager of Equestrian Affairs at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Amanda Bond, then took the stage to talk about Hong Kong’s equestrian history. As one of the foremost racing clubs in the world, she shared some significant moments in their history and revealed some facts and figures about the club. She said they had 100,000 participants and gave 28,000 lessons a year.
She also talked about the club’s internationally-accredited Racing Laboratory in Sha Tin, the only lab approved by the Fédération Equestre Internationale to conduct testing for international or other high-level equestrian events held in Asia under FEI rules. She elaborated on some of the world-class competitions that Hong Kong has supported and held over the years. “Through staging these events, Hong Kong has been able to be at the forefront of equestrian development in Asia,” she concluded.
The Hong Kong Equestrian Federation President, Mr. Michael Lee then discussed the strong equestrian legacy which remained in Hong Kong even close to a decade after the equestrian competitions of Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics were held in the city. He outlined 2008 as a turning point for Hong Kong’s equestrian industry. The equestrian events in the city were a perfect platform to increase awareness of the sport and he said a strong legacy was left in the city, both in terms of hardware and software. “Hong Kong is a thriving equestrian nation. While we might be small in number, we are continually active, both nationally and internationally,” he said.
In a moving moment, the advisor to the Japan Equestrian Federation, Dr. Yasuhiko Haruta then came on stage and Mr. Michael Lee passed the baton from one equestrian nation to another and gave his best wishes to Japan for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Dr. Yasuhiko Haruta expressed his gratitude before disclosing some statistics about the Japan Equestrian Federation and their standing in Asia. He explained some of the impressive logistical arrangements that were being set up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and said both cities were unique equestrian centres. “Using Hong Kong as a model, we will build on this, and we are keen to continue the successful Olympic foundations the city has laid down,” he summarised.
The day finished on a high, with the esteemed Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food and Health, gracing the forum with her presence. She talked about the state-of-the-art Conghua Training Centre in Guangzhou and said Hong Kong remains committed to upholding the city’s equine disease-free status. “Rest assured that we will not compromise our high level or equine management and quarantine centres,” she announced.
She wrapped up the evening by congratulating the founders of Longines Masters of Hong Kong and Asia Horse Week for pulling off a successful event, and she also passed her good wishes onto Japan for winning the 2020 Olympic Games.