Hong Kong’s Happy Valley Jockey Club

June 21, 2012 by

Local Recommendations, Things To Do, Travel Tips

Happy Valley Racecourse

Happy Valley Racecourse. Photo courtesy of habi via Flickr.

Surrounded by Wong Nai Chung Road and Morrison Hill Road, Happy Valley Racecourse is one of just two significant racing facilities in Hong Kong.  Built in 1845, the facility houses areas dedicated to soccer, hockey and rugby, and also includes a world-class racetrack.

The so-called “sport of kings” and the accompanying gambling that ensues at Happy Valley are incredibly popular in the region. Regular races take place on Wednesday nights, and the typical total of monies wagered equals or betters the entire year’s take at most Western tracks. The nearby Sha Tin Racecourse hosts weekend races and is a technological marvel; but the floodlit, adrenaline-inducing excitement that takes place midweek at Happy Valley is impossible to beat.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club administers affairs at both Happy Valley and Sha Tin. Founded in 1884 during the long period of British colonial rule, the club offers a variety of riding schools designed to give visitors access to an education in horse riding, horse care and equestrian sports.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Archive and Museum features four galleries dedicated to: the genealogy of their racing stock; the design and construction of the modern track, which was constructed in 1995; and various, rotating, thematic exhibitions.

Overseas visitors can avail themselves of the opportunity to tour the grounds at Happy Valley and enjoy an exclusive evening of dinner, drinks and betting by appointment from September to June. Note: Take care to dress smart, as casual clothing is frowned upon.

- John Reality

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