The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a world-class horse racing operator and Hong Kong’s largest community benefactor, as well as one of Asia’s most prestigious membership clubs. Operating as a not-for-profit organisation, the Club allocates its surplus for charitable and community projects. In 2013/14, its donations reached a record $3.6 billion, and in the last decade alone it supported over 1,275 projects. The Club is also Hong Kong’s largest single taxpayer, contributing a record HK$19.58 billion in 2013/14. With about 70% of its revenue given back to society every year through donations and tax contributions, The Hong Kong Jockey Club delivers a significantly higher return to the community than any other racing and/or sports betting organisation in the world. As a socially responsible organisation, the Club helps Government combat illegal betting and advocates responsible gambling. The Club is also one of Hong Kong’s largest employers with over 24,800 full-time and part-time staff. Committed to global excellence and giving back to society, the Club is always “riding high together for a better future” with the people of Hong Kong.
The Origin of Hong Kong Horse Racing
Horse racing in Hong Kong commenced in 1841 with the arrival of the British, who immediately set about draining a malarial swamp to form a racetrack at Happy Valley. With the exception of a few years during World War II, the track has seen non-stop action ever since. The Hong Kong Jockey Club was founded in 1884 to organise all racing activities in Hong Kong. It was changed from an amateur to a professional organisation in 1971. A second racecourse was opened at Sha Tin in 1978.
The growth of the sport's popularity was attended by an increase in illegal bookmaking. In 1973, the Government authorised the Club to operate off-course betting branches to tackle illegal gambling head-on. Since then, the Mark Six lottery (1975) and regulated football betting (2003) have also been introduced to combat illegal gambling.
The Club has a long tradition of donating to charitable causes, but it was in the 1950s, as Hong Kong struggled to cope with post-war reconstruction and a massive influx of immigrants, that this role became integral to its operation. In 1955 the Club formally decided to devote its surplus each year to charity and community projects, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club (Charities) Limited – responsible for distributing donations – was formed in 1959. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust took over this responsibility after it was formed in 1993.
World Class Racing
The past 19 years have seen Hong Kong horse racing establish a major presence on the international stage and Hong Kong trained horses build a growing reputation overseas.
The Club's two racecourses offer residents and visitors a unique racing experience, while the integrity, health and safety of Hong Kong's racing operations are much admired worldwide.
The Longines Hong Kong International Races in December are now widely recognized as the Turf World Championships, featuring four International Group One races on a single day - the Longines Hong Kong Cup, Mile, Sprint and Vase - and a total purse of HK$83 million. Together with the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup and Champions Mile held each April or May, these international events attract top thoroughbreds - and racing fans - from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Four more races have been raised to International G1 in 2014/15 season and opened to overseas horses - the Stewards’ Cup (1600m), the Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m), the Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m).
The Club also plays an important role in international racing administration. Chief Executive Officer Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, is currently Chairman of the Asian Racing Federation and Vice-Chairman, Asia of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.
Unique Racing Experience
Racing facilities in Hong Kong are among the finest in the world. The historic race track at Happy Valley, with its spectacular cityscape setting, offers racegoers a truly electric atmosphere, especially during night meetings.
Sha Tin Racecourse, opened in 1978, boasts some of the world's most sophisticated racing facilities and plays host to Hong Kong's major international events. Its high-resolution diamond vision screen was once the longest TV display in the world, while covered Parade Ring sets new standards of comfort and access for racing fans with its unique, retractable paddock roof.
With the aim of revitalizing local racing, ensuring the sustainability of racing business and enhancing the Club’s competitiveness, different facilities in both racecourses have been renovated and upgraded. The past year has seen the first two phases of the multi-billion Racecourse Master Plan successfully completed, with popular new venues opened at both Sha Tin and Happy Valley. We have already earmarked a further HK$2.9 billion for Phrase 3, with the first new venues due to come on stream in the year ahead. By doing so, we hope we could provide premier racecourse venues, services and experiences to customers of different segments.
Integrity, Health and Safety
Aside from the excellent facilities and high standard of racehorses, it is the integrity of its operations that has assured Hong Kong horse racing of worldwide recognition.
The Club is run according to the highest professional standards. All race meetings are supervised by a panel of Racing Stewards who closely monitor the running of each race and any possible breach of the Racing Rules. A fully integrated video camera patrol system provides instant colour replays of every part of the race from nine different angles.
The Sha Tin facilities include a state-of-the-art Racing Laboratory used for testing biological samples for prohibited substances - a vital component to ensure racing integrity. The Racing Laboratory is one of only five laboratories worldwide recognized by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) as Reference Laboratories for conducting equine sample testing for prohibited substances, and has provided such support for both Olympic and regional competitions.
The Club also has its own fully-equipped Equine Hospital. Besides implementing a routine health programme for all 1,200 racehorses in Hong Kong, the Club's two veterinary teams supervise quarantine arrangements for imported or exported horses.
It is because of the Club's advanced facilities, professionalism and experience in staging international racing events - especially its quarantine controls - that Hong Kong was asked to co-host the equestrian competition of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The Club is proud to be the venue provider for the Olympic equestrian events.
Name of Racing Authority: The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Postal Address: One Sports Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2966 8111 Fax: (852) 2577 9036
Web Site: www.hkjc.com
Chairman: Dr Simon S O Ip CBE JP
Dr Simon S O Ip CBE JP (Chairman)
Mr Anthony W K Chow SBS JP (Deputy Chairman)
Dr Christopher Cheng Wai Chee GBS JP
Mr Lester C H Kwok JP
Mr Michael T H Lee JP
Mr Philip N L Chen GBS JP
Mr Stephen Ip Shu Kwan GBS JP
Dr Eric Li Ka Cheung GBS OBE JP
The Hon Sir C K Chow
The Hon Martin Liao SBS JP
Mrs Margaret Leung SBS JP
Mr Silas Yang Siu Shun JP
Board of Management:
Chief Executive Officer: Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges
Executive Director, Racing Business and Operations: Mr Anthony B Kelly
Executive Director, Racing Authority: Mr Andrew Harding
Executive Director, Customer and Marketing: Mr Richard Cheung
Executive Director, Corporate Business Planning and Communications / Executive Director, Membership Services (Acting): Ms Scarlette K F Leung
Executive Director, Charities and Community: Mr Leong Cheung
Executive Director, Corporate Affairs: Mr Kim K W Mak
Executive Director, Finance: Mr Angus Lee
Executive Director, Channels and Organisational Development: Mr Gary D M Chow
Executive Director, Information Technology and Sustainability: Mr Christoph Ganswindt
Executive Director, Legal and Compliance: Ms Philana W Y Poon
Contact for Overseas Liaison / Information: Ms Hazel Kayiya (Manager, Racing Authority External)