The Hong Kong Jockey Club (the Club) announced today (5 February) the establishment of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Equine Welfare Research Foundation (the Foundation) with a donation of HK$600 million from the Club for the enhancement of equine care and welfare locally and in other racing jurisdictions across the globe.
As the first research foundation dedicated to equine welfare in Hong Kong, the Foundation will provide funding to support research studies on equine welfare and offer scholarships to doctorate students in related fields.
“The establishment of the Foundation underscores the Club’s long-term commitment to constantly enhancing equine welfare. The Club has long-established policies and protocols to ensure that equine welfare is maintained to the highest standard. We have also built and operated state-of-the-art equine facilities in both Hong Kong and Conghua to provide world-class veterinary care for our racehorses. We would like to extend our commitment to the promotion of professional and academic research on equine welfare. I am confident that the Foundation will effectively promote outstanding equine research and the successful application of the research outcomes to benefit equine welfare not only in Hong Kong but also around the world,” said the Club’s Chief Executive Officer Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.
The Foundation is supervised by a Board of Directors. Based on the recommendation of a Veterinary Advisory Committee comprising five experienced equine veterinary clinicians and research scientists, the Board will determine the priority equine-related research topics in each annual grant cycle. It will also ensure that the Foundation adopts a stringent approach in the selection and funding of research proposals of the highest quality and potential.
Many practical improvements in equine health and welfare, such as the diagnosis of injuries at an early stage, have been made possible as a result of quality scientific research studies and the successful application of their outcomes. The Foundation expects that more research studies will be carried out in important areas including the reduction of injuries and diseases, promotion of racehorse safety during training and racing, and improved quality of life for horses after retirement.
“The Foundation’s mission is not limited to providing funding for research studies. We require the people we fund to share their research outcomes and knowledge with our international industry peers and the public through journals and international forums. In addition, the Foundation will organise an international conference every four years to provide a platform for the academia, racing officials, trainers and horse owners to discuss the ways to apply the research outcomes in their respective fields. Through the provision of scholarships, the Foundation will also nurture young talents in the studies of equine welfare research and clinical care,” said Andrew Harding, the Club’s Executive Director of Racing.
The Foundation will invite applications for research funding and scholarships from the global research community annually, with the maximum funding for an individual project reaching HK$2 million. The first round of applications will open in March, and the research topics will be announced on the Foundation’s website in February. A total of approximately six research studies are expected to be granted funding in the first round.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a world-class racing club that acts continuously for the betterment of our society. The Club has a unique integrated business model, comprising racing and racecourse entertainment, a membership club, responsible sports wagering and lottery, and charities and community contribution. Through this model, the Club generates economic and social value for the community and supports the Government in combatting illegal gambling. In 2019/20, the Club contributed HK$19.9 billion in duty and profits tax and HK$0.8 billion to the Lotteries Fund. Approved charity donations were HK$4.5 billion. The Club is Hong Kong’s largest single taxpayer and one of the city’s major employers. Its Charities Trust is also one of the world’s top ten charity donors. The Club is always “riding high together for a better future” with the people of Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Equine Welfare Research Foundation
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Equine Welfare Research Foundation Limited was established in 2020 with a donation of HK$600 million from the Club. Funds will be disbursed annually depending on income generated from investment of this principal sum. The Foundation’s vision is to constantly improve the quality of life of Thoroughbred racehorses throughout and after their racing careers and to educate the public about equine health and welfare. The Foundation will do this by funding research and encouraging collaboration between scientists, scholars, veterinarians and those engaged at the forefront of the racing industry whose decisions and actions affect the welfare of racehorses. The Foundation will support the dissemination of information and education through the Foundation’s website and by organising a translational conference every four years. In addition, it will offer scholarships for the cultivation of young talent specialising in equine welfare research. Please visit www.hkjcequinewelfare.org.hk for further information.