To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

about me
photo of Dave Middleburgh
Hong Kong

blogspot visit counter
  powered by BLOGGER

Middleburgh - Born to Ride

No review of Sports Tourism to Hong Kong would be complete without mention of Horse and Motor Sports.

Horses & Things

Not only was HK the base for the 2008 Olympic Equestrian Events but it is the home of the HK Jockey club. a venerable HK institution.

In 1841 the Brits drained a malarial swamp in Happy Valley to create a race track and in 1884 the Club was established. In 1955 the Club formally decided to devote its surplus each year to charity and community projects.In 1973, the Government authorised the Club to operate off-course betting branches to tackle illegal gambling. A second race course was opened in Shatin in 1978. The HK racing season is September to July. Typically races at Happy Valley are held most Wednesday evenings and on Sunday afternoons at Shatin and visitors and locals alike have a little flutter.

Undoubtedly this will resonate if you are Irish. Ireland , with a total of 26 race tracks, has the highest number per capita in world - absolutely unbelievable !! and racing holds an equally important place in the social fabric of the country as it does in HK. However unlike Irland where the former Phoenix Park Racecourse in Dublin has been redveoped, HK Property developers can only cast wistfull eyes over Happy Valley - in their dreams!!

Let us assume for a moment that your great grandfather was a fully paid up member of the National Anti Gambling League and that you believe that horseracing is inherently exploitative and evil. You want to come to Kong Kong to seek and mount a satisfying ride ...on a horse.... or a donkey. Can we accomodate??

Actually finding a Donkey in HK (other than "Dongy Kong" is a problem. The donkey team imported from Canada to haul equipment up mountains during the building of the Ngong Ping Cable Car were retired in 2007 to ??. (I can't find any references on web to them or any HK Donkey Rest Homes). Worringly, it appears that an enterprisng HK Company is intent on cornering the market for donky skins in order to increase the sex drive of Chinese women, Apperently these (the skins not the women) are boiled down to extract "Ejiao" which is used in "Nu Bao"which allegedly inceases their (the womens) libido.

And moving on .... you should check out either the HK Equestrian Federation or the Anglo Infolinks. The HKEHR site lists 4 riding schools (below)run by the HK Jockey Club and a number of other organisation including one in Dongguan China and the HK Equestrian Centre

The riding club at Pokfulam Riding school is just up the road and opposite to the the HK Chinese Culiniary Institute Unfortunately although there is are training restaurants there you have to be invited by a member of the TDS to eat there,Which means if after a really good ride you crave something to eat the nearest place is at cyberport where you can also take in a film

Motor Sports

Of course if you are looking for something with a bit more poke than one Horse power HP then perhaps you should consider visiting Macau as well as Hong Kong to take in the 56 Grand Prix19 - 22 November 2009. The Macau circuit through the town is an exhilarating combination of long, fast straights and sharply twisting corners recognised as one of the most demanding circuits in the world where many F1 drivers cut their teeth.The provisional race shedule is here and includes something for every one: Motorcycles, F3, Touring cars, Formula BMW etc and even the odd race where Toyota's qualify.

You could always come to Hong Kong and slip over to Zhuhai instead (it is to Macau what Shenzhen is to Hong Kong) and in particular catch a gig at the Zhuhai International Circuit They have a number of events there (primarily Motorcycle) through out the year.

Unfortunately unlike Ireland and Macau, here in Hong Kong there is a dirth of Motor sport activity. The HK Motor Sports Club is basically defunked because of lack of venues and the police who disapprove of motor racing tend to lay down spikes to thwart boy racers. However we are blessed with an international standard (I understand) Go Kart track ip on the Diamond Coast which means that the only legitimate form of motor racing in HK other than in a speed boat dodging in and out of the container ships in the Lamm Channels (not a good idea) is perhaps Go Karting. (having checked out the Venueweb site I might be up for a vist myself next weekend !!)

| | | | | |

| More