Racehorse owners criticise lack of retirement compensation from Macau Jockey Club

Racehorse owners criticise lack of retirement compensation from Macau Jockey Club

The Jockey Club will not offer financial aid for those who choose to retire their horses.

Macau.- Several racehorse owners have expressed dissatisfaction with the Macau Jockey Club‘s (MJC) decision to offer compensation to those who wish to transport their animals out of the city despite refusing to compensate those who wish to retire their horses at their own expense.

The MJC has offered to pay owners MOP200,000 for each horse sent to certain jurisdictions abroad or MOP30,000 if the animals were sent to mainland China. However, racehorse owners note that the compensation offer only applies to horses that will continue to compete abroad, alleging that the club “has overlooked the fact that most horse owners have already lost interest and have decided to retire their horses” after the club closes on March 31.

Owners who do not wish to send their horses outside of Macao have asked the MJC to evaluate each horse based on its age, racing ability, and other factors and compensate them accordingly. However, the MJC has said that its financial situation prevents it from doing that and has reiterated that all horses must be removed by March 31.

No indication has been given as to whether the horses would be retired in Macau, somewhere else or euthanised in the city. Horse owners say they bought new horses in the belief that the MJC would continue operating and that the MJC’s financial disclosures were not detailed enough to make informed decisions.

The MJC issued a letter on February 21 saying that owners should have conducted their own risk assessments before purchasing new animals and that its financial position was a clear indication that the company could close at any time. 

Until the horses are relocated, owners must pay stabling fees of HK$8,000 a month. Owners who transfer full ownership of the horses to the MJC are not be required to make any payments. 

Owners have denounced the club’s decision to end its operations without prior discussion with industry stakeholders. If an agreement cannot be reached, they plan to seek help from the gaming watchdog and the Legislative Assembly. 

The MJC will continue to provide adequate staff members to care for the horses until they are transported out of Macao, after racing operations cease.

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The Macau Jockey Club