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November 9, 2009

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Horse racing carnival lures world-class talent

THE seventh Wuhan international horse racing festival opened at the weekend in central China's Hubei Province, attracting more than 300 horses and riders.

During the two-day festival, more than 130 equestrians from seven countries and regions including Japan, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong and Macau, and 22 teams from the Chinese mainland competed in the racing pageant.

Six big horse races, including the important National Speed Racing Championship, were run at Wuhan Orient Lucky City, the biggest racecourse in the Chinese mainland.

Those attending the races could win recharge cards for their mobile phones if they picked the winners.

Horse racing first thrived in Wuhan in the early 1900s, after foreign and Chinese businessmen built up the country's top three race courses in the city.

Horse racing was banned on the Chinese mainland in 1949.

It reappeared in the early 1990s after national races were organized and jockey clubs set up in southern coastal cities.

Orient Lucky City covers more than 1 million square meters and is the biggest horse breeding base in China, with 2,000 horses.

The racecourse seats 30,000 spectators.


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