11th World University Equestrian Championship
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Club-sponsored rider claims Hong Kong’s first medal in World University Equestrian Championship
Members of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Equestrian Teams achieved another outstanding result in an international tournament last weekend. At the 11th World University Equestrian Championship (WUEC), staged at Flyinge, Sweden from 28 June to 2 July, Club-sponsored rider Clarissa Lyra, who is supported by the Club’s Equestrian Performance Plan, won a bronze medal in the Show Jumping, while Leung Oi-man, Member of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Junior Equestrian Squad, ranked fourth. Hong Kong’s first medal in WUEC once again showcases the Club’s support and sponsorship for equestrian sports and the benefits it brings to sport in the city.
This was the first time for Hong Kong riders to join this international competition, which is hosted by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The FISU is also the organiser of the Universiade, the largest multi-sports event in the world apart from the Olympic Games. More than 50 riders from 18 nations and regions joined the show jumping and dressage competitions of this year’s World University Equestrian Championship. Riding on borrowed horses, riders need to go through six rounds of a knock–out competition. For show jumping, fences start at 0.90 metres with the finals starting at 1.40 metres, with increasing levels of difficulty. Lyra beat more than 50 opponents from such strong equestrian countries as Germany, Belgium and Denmark to claim the bronze model. Riders from Finland and Japan won the gold and silver medals respectively.
As a world-class horse racing organization, the Club is a long-term supporter of equestrian sport in Hong Kong. Since opening in the 1970s, the public riding schools operated by the Club have attracted many thousands of people to learn riding and horse care, with some 60,000 visits each year. Equestrian sports became even more popular following the equestrian events of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, held in Hong Kong with the Club’s support. The HKJC Equestrian Team and HKJC Junior Equestrian Training Squad were established by the Club in the same year with the aim of developing the potential of Hong King’s most talented riders. Several members have already won medals in international competition. To further enhance the capabilities of local riders, the Club launched the Hong Kong Equestrian Performance Plan in January this year. This merit-based programme is designed to nurture Hong Kong’s high-performing riders as they strive for equestrian excellence on the world stage.
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 funds for charitable and community projects. In 2014/15, its donations reached a record $3.87 billion, and in the last decade alone it supported over 1,300 projects. The Club is also Hong Kong’s largest single taxpayer, contributing a record HK$20.05 billion in 2014/15. 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 24,000 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.
Photo 1 and 2: Club-sponsored rider Clarissa Lyra wins the bronze medal at the 11th World University Equestrian Championship, which was staged at Flyinge, Sweden on 2 July.
Leung Oi-man, Member of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Junior Equestrian Squad, ranked fourth out of more than 50 riders from around the world.