Fantastic Facilities in Hong Kong
RELEASE: June 25, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Louise Parkes
As the equestrian events of the 2008 Olympic Games draw ever-closer, it is time to take a look at the excellent venues and facilities provided by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) which will ensure that the Jumping, Dressage and Eventing horses and riders compete in optimal conditions.
Significant construction work, a world-class laboratory, 5-star stabling, a first-class veterinary clinic, mobile horse-cooling units and green waste management are just some of the principle features. These Games are breaking new ground in terms of attention to detail at every level. Innovative and well-established ideas are combining to create a safe, clean and functional sporting environment in which those coveted Olympic medals can become the entire focus.
The HKJC has invested over HK$1.2 billion in creating venues and facilities for the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic equestrian events. Construction work has included the modification of the Hong Kong Sports Institute which is located next to HKJC headquarters at Sha Tin Racecourse on the outskirts of the city, while at Penfold Park, which lies at the very centre of Sha-Tin race-track, a training and competition area has been developed.
The Club has also provided facilities at the Hong Kong Golf Club and the Beas River Country Club for the cross-country phase of the Eventing discipline.
The venue was handed over by the HKJC to the organisers of the Olympic Equestrian Events – Equestrian Events (Hong Kong) of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad Company Limited (the Equestrian Company) for a final dress-up on 26 May.
The main competition arena is located at Sha Tin and has a seating capacity of about 18,000 with a supporting warm-up arena. A total of 13 ancillary training rings include two for general use, five for Dressage, four for both Dressage and Jumping, one specifically for Jumping only and an indoor air-conditioned ring. Penfold Park also embraces an 800m cross-country training track and schooling area along with a 1,200m all-weather bridle path and a turf gallop.
Office and hospitality areas are available at the Hong Kong Sports Institute, but one of the most talked-about developments has been at the Olympic stable complex.
Construction started here in July 2006 and by May 2007 four blocks of air-conditioned stables, totalling 225 stalls, were completed and ready to accommodate 200 horses while another 25 have been set aside for reserves. Each stall measures 3.6 x 3.6 meters, which is bigger than normal Olympic standard, and each unit measures 6.4 meters at its highest point. The barns are designed to maximise the benefits of the 24-hour air-conditioning system which will have a set temperature of 23 degrees Centigrade. Cool and hot air will be prevented from exiting or entering the stable blocks by the provision of an air curtain, while additional circulation will be provided by ceiling fans and the louvred ceiling windows and stall-windows can be opened in case of air-conditioning breakdown.
Each stable will have an automatic drinker and a revolving feed bowl and each block will have ice-making machines producing 250 lbs of ice per day - an important ingredient in the cooling of horses after exercise.
For the first time ever at an Olympic venue a rolling box, measuring 20.5 square meters, will be provided to allow horses the opportunity to relax, stretch and play.
Security measures include 24-hour CCTV covering all areas and security sensors at entry to each stable which will trigger an alarm in the event of an after-hours break-in.
Wide walkways will be an important component of the stable blocks and, in keeping with the "Green" initiative of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, these will be made from recycled tyres as will the stable floors. Wood engineered from sustainable bamboo has been used in the construction of the stable bl