Canada’s Racing Dreams for China

I was intrigued to read of the recent visit by Canadian horse ‘industry’ delegation to China, among them breeders and trainers.

Here’s what it was about:

“Our intention with this trip was to seek out information so that we could determine market potential,” stated Bernard McCormack of Cara Bloodstock, who is also the chair of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s marketing committee and an Equine Canada Industry Council member. “We discovered that the Thoroughbred racing industry in China is building and that there is strong interest among China’s affluent to replicate the success that is seen in other developed markets. It would appear that China has the potential to become one of the largest new racing markets in the world.”

I wonder if he knows about the neglect of horses at China’s biggest purpose built racing stables/track, the Beijing Jockey Club. Given the government takes a firm hand against on-track gambling I wonder where the optimism about the racing scene here comes from. But the losers in the experiment that is the Beijing Jockey Club, opened in 2004 by a Hong Kong tycoon who installed 2000 horses and an Irish chief trainer. By autumn 2009 the place was mothballed, and in dispute with villagers over land rent. Alas the horses ulimately paid the price, as you’ll discover in this newspaper article.

See below the photos I took of the Beijing Jockey Club horses in late 2009. I trust the Canadians know something we don’t…

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