The second edition of Asia Horse Week was officially opened this morning by Dr. Anthony Chow, the new HKJC Chairman and Longines Hong Kong Masters founder and EEM CEO Christophe Ameeuw. Dr. Chow said the HKJC was proud to continue its collaboration with the event which is now a major annual think tank for Equestrian sport in Asia. “The club as the founding partner is delighted to continue its support. My sincere congratulations to EEM,” said Dr Chow.
Equine welfare, clean sport, education and horse movement, were key topics on a robust first day of discussion at Asia Horse Week 2019. On the eve of the Longines Masters of Hong Kong, some of the world’s most respected professionals from the Equestrian industry led the conversation and shared their invaluable insights into these important subjects.
Sabrina Ibañez – FEI General Secretary
Welfare was the most dominant theme of the entire session with the FEI Secretary General, Sabrina Ibañez, describing Asia as an Equestrian region that is “buzzing” but she also warned that it must be well managed. Ibanez confirmed the FEI’s heavy commitment to assisting in the management of this huge growth and to ensuring that the industry in this region is guided in the most professional and ethical way possible especially in the areas of welfare and integrity. “It is an absolute honour to be here in Hong Kong for the second edition of the Asia Horse Week and be part of such a dynamic and forward moving programme,” said Ibañez.
Alex Hua Tian – Olympic eventing rider and founder of the Horsemanship program
“When you look at the numbers and see how fast the sport has grown in the region over the past ten years this gathering is the result of this incredible growth and shows the appetite for all things Equestrian in the region.” Asia Horse Week facilitator Alex Hua Tian, the founder of the Horsemanship development programme in China and himself a highly accomplished rider, applauded the way today’s keynote presentations faced into key issues that could potentially compromise continued growth. “The numbers coming out of this region are phenomenal and we especially need to make sure we answer the welfare questions,” said Hua Tian.
The CEO of the British Horse Society, Lynn Petersen, discussed the positive influence that her organisation has had so far and will continue to have on the development of Equestrian in Asia through the education programmes it has implemented for trainers and coaches. A graduate of the BHS system, Amanda Bond, who now heads up Equestrian Affairs at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, also addressed today’s session and highlighted the importance of a strong welfare focus in the Thoroughbred racing space and the need to continue rehoming suitable ex-racehorses in Equestrian sport in Hong Kong and beyond. She highlighted several case studies of horses that have gone on to live very happy and healthy lives in Equestrian sport.
Other speakers that contributed their thoughts and ideas on equine welfare today included Rong Rui from the Nanjing Agricultural University and the CEO of World Horse Welfare, Roly Owers. Later in the day there was a session on FEI Clean Sport led by Caterina Termine. She touched on FEI regulations related to clean sport, sampling and sample logistics, FEI approved laboratories and analysis as well as results management.
And the day concluded with an enthralling segment on horse movement. This outlined the challenges the Asian region faces in the transportation of horses to high level competition. Alex Hua Tian said; “The way we are trying to build Equestrian centres across the region is exciting. We now have big shows in China, Hong Kong and South East Asia. This is the time for our region but the biggest challenge for growth of top level sport here is transportation.These are the challenges and challenging questions we have to address while we are all together in HK for Asia Horse Week,” he said. “What stood out today is just how many passionate people there are here in this region and people around the world who are passionate about Equestrian here. There is serious recognition that we are the future growth of Equestrian and we have to get it right not just for here but for the sport globally.”
Today’s discussion points will be Chinese milestones in Equestrian Sport, Sport Development in Asia, the Sports to Breeding Connection as well as another FEI seminar on Clean Sport. This second day of conferences will end with the first edition of The Auction, an auction of twenty premium embryos which will take place in Duplex with Deauville and also online.
If you would like to view any of today’s presentations from day 1 of Asia Horse Week please go to www.eem.tv. Tomorrow’s sessions will be live streamed through EEM TV.
Source: Press release by Solenn Rispail / Agence R&B Presse for EEM / Longines Masters
Photos: © Longines Masters