Unsung Heroes


Hong Kong has no breeding and production of horses thus became a “Melting Pot’ of racing.


1900 and before, records shown some ponies from Manila and North Brunei were raced in Hong Kong.





Fighters with Anonymous Parentage


1939 and before the Second World War,
Hong Kong had always been closely tied with China Coast racing.


By that period of time, whole horse population were pint-sized China ponies.


Almost all of them came from present-day Inner Mongolia, which should be named after.



Mongol horses are of a stocky build, with relatively short but strong legs and a large head.


The hooves are very robust, and very few are fitted with horseshoes.


They range in size from 12 to 14 hands high and even have a hoof diameter of about 8 inches.


They have a certain resemblance to Przewalski’s Horse. The mane and tail are very long.





Mongolian ponies have great stamina and tough endurance.


Although they have smaller body they can gallop for 10 km without break.


They came in an assortment of exotic colors and hybrid breeds, besides the traditional bays, browns, chestnuts, blacks and greys.


There were a great many roans, together with some duns, piebalds and skewbalds.


Those ponies might be little bigger than their distant Shetland cousins, but they were very colorful.


They stood a mere 13 to 14 hands tall and habitually carried around 150 to 160 lbs.



Z Class Pony
Hybrids were most distinctive when Mongolian mares were bred to warhorses left behind by the so-called “Army of Eight”.


1898, they returned with loads of looted treasure after the Boxer Rebellion.


Spaces originally intended for warhorses on the homeward journey were occupied by things less lively instead.


Such warhorses were later bred to pony for China Coast racing known as “Z Class”.


Z Class Ponies were higher and larger than China ponies, separated races were held for each type.


Gentleman riders would need to sweat to make to such handicapping.





China ponies that could shoulder 180 lbs and race twice, each over 3 miles, in a single raceday.


The much smaller China pony was noted for its stamina and weight-bearing capacity.


Until 1960, Australian Walers succeeded China ponies and replacing gradually.
However, Walers were still classified as ponies until 1960.


They were in fact descended from true horse stock in New South Wales, whose amounts of thoroughbred blood increased with time.






LIBERTY BAY, was possibly the most famous of the China Ponies before the War.


1932-02-22 LIBERTY BAY won THE 60th DERBY.


1933 to 1935, it proceeded to win every race.


1935, record shown it ran 1 1/2 miles in 2.56.3.


1940, records in Racebook showing 14 ‘China’ griffins had unknown sires.


Longer distance events used to dominate the race card; before the Second World War.


Each year no fewer than three St. Legers. for the three kinds of ponies and horses.





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