Nanjing Horse Racing Enterprise Co. Inc.

Featured Image: ‘Gang-of-Five’ @ Great Wall

The group includes Terry Blake & Craig Young

Wherever we went we were constantly apprised of the fact that the ‘turbulent’ [‘tyrannical’] events of the 20th. Century had all but obliterated the ancient horse culture in China which numbered as many as 700,000 horses involved in polo, racing and in circuses. They are acutely aware of the need to start again from ‘scratch’ and re-establish a viable equine industry in China. Since the early founding of the People’s Republic in China in 1952 over 1,100 stud horses were imported from the former Soviet Union to improve local ‘China breeds’. Arabians have also been introduced in significant numbers in Military establishments. Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang appear to be the best areas for horse breeding.

Two days in Nanjing followed our initial foray into Beijing. We were first met and entertained by Mr. Wu and his cohorts of the Nanjing Horse Racing Enterprise Co. Inc. This comprises a massive very busy construction project now underway closely emulating the facilities already provided in Beijing and Wuhan and probably approaching the total amount in expenditure. Mr. Wu was careful to point out that whereas the Beijing concept is essentially a private and local government arrangement the Nanjing project is a 60% private [Mr Wu] and 40% State [National] Government scheme with an option to ‘purchase’ the latter. The Nanjing facility will host the National Equestrian Festival in 2005. It is clear the visionary concept in China is for an all embracing equine/equestrian carnival including all disciplines of competition such as racing, show jumping, eventing, horse sports, trick riding and entertainment in general. Once more we were ‘subjected’ to yet another eclectic luncheon banquet arranged by our ever attentive and courteous hosts! For many including the author this began to produce spectacularly cathartic gastro-intestinal results! The evening concluded with a celebration of the ‘Moon Festival’ in downtown Nanjing and ample opportunity to indulge in ever more shopping! Even so it was hard to drag oneself away from the luxury of one’s accommodation at the Jinling Resort on the Baijia Lake.