Historic Military Terrain
The name of Kwan Tei means “military place” in Cantonese.
Authentic Equine Ground
Kwanti situates on a plain surrounded by hills at its north and south, on the Sha Tau Kok Road in the New Territories.
The Road goes through the heart of Kwan Tei, connecting Lung Yeuk Tau and Sha Tau Kok.
Ng Tung River, Tan Sha River and Kwan Tei River are major rivers in the area.
Barracks were built by former British army. To the west of Kwan Tei, Gailiopi Lines (新圍軍營) sites near San Wai, a walled village north of Lung Yeuk Tau.
To the south, Burma Lines (皇后山軍營) sites on Queen‘s Hill (皇后山).
The plain is fertile and suitable for farming. Kwan Tei settled various villages.
1918, HKJC’s field was indirectly extended at this time by the lease of a grazing ground at Kwanti.
1922, equestrian activities in the New Territories started with the Fanling Hunt, around that period.
Much organized event such as The Hunt was started, and apparently occasionally strayed over the border during its activities.
1926-01-26, inaugural race of SteepleChase Meeting in Kwanti.
Flat races, steeplechases, hurdles races and hunting activities were held.
They built the Kwanti Racecourse, located close to San Wai of Lung Yeuk Tau, a village area at the Northern part of the New Territories.
Its Meetings, held on Sundays in the winter, were popular, the programmes including steeplechases and hurdle races.
They were helpful in encouraging and training young riders.
1928, hurdle races started.
Up to a point the hurdle races were a success in an ambiance of this kind.
But the Club had run up against the problem that Chinese are simply not interested in jumping, certainly not as far as gambling is concerned.
Therefore, very few Chinese were to be seen.
1931, flat races started.
Finally the Club decided they must be practical and make more money.
One flat race per meeting was introduced. Chinese promptly appeared, and the Club’s financial position improved.
‘Fanling was a lovely little course,’ she reminisced, ‘all grass, and with the wonderful hills behind. I think Fanling was very dashing, because in those days in England ladies could only ride in point-to-points. Of course I used to go racing at Happy Valley, and it was wonderful high up in the boxes and stands even in 1932.’
In Macao she rode for H.S. Yung, one of the leading owners, and had several wins. The ‘present’ on such occasions was a slap-up Chinese dinner given by Yung and his wife for all the lady riders on their return to Hongkong.
The country in the northern part of the New Territories, sparsely populated and open, was ideal for good riding, presenting a varied terrain and many unexpected obstacles.
The hunts sometimes went high into the foothills of Tai Mo Shan, and could be challenging — granite with a shallow topsoil is not the easiest thing to take on horseback other than at a walking pace.
W.L. (Bill) Stanton of the National City Bank of New York had a large bungalow at Kwanti, and by all-round agreement it became the clubhouse.
Hongkong, as usual, was hardest hit, being furthest away. Immediate recourse was had to Australia to obtain ponies.
1932 Ladies’ Races
1932-01-04 《Hong Kong Daily Press》reported a Ladies’ Race.
1932-03-20 a Ladies’ Mile race was reported with results.
1932, Hunan Stakes.
Two photographs depicting SUNNING – Winner of the Hunan Stakes, Fanling.
SUNNING was shown at the right side of the photo, with the second runners-up GLORIOUS STAG 3/4 of length behind which was also owned by Rees.
1950s, Kwanti racecourse was closed and the track was difficult to be identified.
As it had only been operated twenty years, there were only a few of images left behind.
1938, Hunters and Hounds at Kwanti.
As shown from newspaper records, the hunters first met at Sheung Shui, passed through Fanling, Kwanti Racecourse, old Fanling railway station, Alec Hutton-Potts’ bungalow and finally arrived at the Kitten Hill and Dill’s Corner in Sheung Shui.
The Sha Tau Kok Railway was a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge railway running from Fanling to Sha Tau Kok.
1911-12-21 services was commenced from Fanling to Shek Chung Au.
1912-04-01 full line started to serve with stops as the followings:
Fanling (Interchange station for the KCR mainline)
Hung Leng or Hung Ling
Shek Chung Au
Sha Tau Kok
1929-04-01 after 16 years, the terminus of Sha Tau Kok Railway was ceased to operate and was replaced by Sha Tau Kok Road.