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Hong Kong Breeders Club Inaugurates Breeder of the Year Award

HONG KONG, Oct. 26 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- The international successes of Hong Kong racehorses and racehorse owners are now to be complemented by an award that will acknowledge achievements in thoroughbred breeding.

The Hong Kong Breeders Club today announced the inauguration of the Hong Kong Breeder of the Year Award; an Award that will recognize excellence and accomplishment by a thoroughbred breeder based in either Hong Kong or China. The first winner of the Award will be announced in Hong Kong on Monday 12th December -- the day after the Hong Kong Jockey Club's "world turf championship" day at Sha Tin.

Major General Guy Watkins, chairman of the Hong Kong Breeders Club International Advisory Board said, "I warmly welcome this new initiative. The award will not only recognise past excellence but will also help to encourage a future interest in thoroughbred breeding from within Hong Kong and China."

When deciding on the Award criteria the HKBC confirmed that the racecourse test will always be the ultimate arbiter of thoroughbred excellence. They have therefore ruled that performances on the track will be the most important assessment factor, with particular weight being given to results in Graded, Group and Listed events.

HKBC has also ruled that although the Award will be based principally on race performances during the past calendar year the selection committee may also consider other factors as secondary criteria. These could include: the length of time of a candidate's involvement in the breeding industry; the extent and value of a candidate's investment in breeding -- in bloodstock and/or in real estate; sales results and any past record of successes as a breeder; any record of administrative contribution to the racing/breeding industry - for example through Breeders Associations or Race Club Boards; or any involvement in racing related charities or in the training of young people in the racing/breeding industry.

Major General Watkins added that although the Selection Committee may consider the extent of a candidate's bloodstock holdings the emphasis will always be on quality rather than quantity. The Committee may also take due note of any fresh breeding industry initiative that has taken place during the past year; such as the acquisition of active racing stock destined for the stud farm post retirement. The Committee will also be looking for professional awareness and expertise in the Award winner; qualities that may be demonstrated by the ability to anticipate or initiate successful new trends rather than simply following established practice.

The independent Selection Committee will be chaired by Major General Watkins who will be joined by three distinguished members; Mr. Murray Bell, the respected Racing Editor of Hong Kong's leading English language daily, The South China Morning Post Mr. Paul Cheng, racehorse owner and current Hong Kong Jockey Club Steward; and Mr. Ronald Napier, former Chairman of the Jockey Club of South Africa and a successful breeder in his own right.

The Hong Kong Breeders Club was founded by Mr. Richard Hui, Mr. Paul Kan, Mr. Peter Yip and friends. Their aim is to promote thoroughbred breeding among racing enthusiasts in Hong Kong and China; both as an interesting and enjoyable hobby, and as a hobby with possible investment potential. The founders also hope to help Club members integrate their thoroughbred breeding interests into a family lifestyle. This would be through shared access to vacation farm houses, golf courses, fishing trips and other leisure facilities in exclusive and sought after locations that are close to stud farms.

In addition to thoroughbred breeding the Club is also devoted to helping improve the standard of equestrian sport in Hong Kong and China, as well as supporting approved charity and/or research projects through the HKBC Charity Foundation.


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