Horse racing and horse shows have been a particularly popular pastime in Hong Kong — starting, unsurprisingly, from colonial times. The Hong Kong Masters bring champion show jumpers to town every February and Happy Valley’s Wednesday evening races regularly attract all members of society to the tracks — from the beer-drinking casual observers to committed gamblers looking to make big bucks.
The sport first gained traction in Hong Kong back in 1884, when the Hong Kong Jockey Club was founded as a horse racing club. The HKJC itself used to be — and still is — an exclusive club accessible only by the upper echelons of society. Back then, the club catered more to the increasingly large number of British expatriates who resided in the city, but today anyone with a large pile of cash — and members to vouch for them — might find advantage in a membership.
These days, the non-profit is the single biggest community benefactor in the city, having just reached a record donation of HK$3.87 billion in its 2014-15 year. This was the second year in a row that the Hong Kong Jockey Club raised over HK$3 billion for charity. Cheers to that — we’ll see you in the beer garden next Wednesday!