Hong Kong Jockey Club Sponsorship Offers Equestricon Attendees Chance to Win Trip of A Lifetime
For anyone who has ever dreamed of traveling internationally to witness some of the best racehorses in the world, surely Hong Kong in December has crossed the mind. The LONGINES Hong Kong International Races (HKIR) is one of the premier annual racing festivals anywhere on the globe. Now, Equestricon, the first-ever international horse racing convention in Saratoga Springs this August, will offer its attendees ages 18 and up a chance to win a dream getaway to Hong Kong for the entirety of HKIR week.
Thanks to a sponsorship with the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), Equestricon will offer a free-to-enter “Lucky Draw” sweepstakes for an exclusive trip for two to the 2017 LONGINES Hong Kong International Races.
The winner of the Lucky Draw will join Equestricon co-founder Dan Tordjman on the social media team for the HKIR, which includesround-trip economy flights (for the winner and a guest), up to six nights of hotel accommodations, and invitations to all of the week’s must-attend events. The highlights of the week include the LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship at Happy Valley, the HKIR Gala Dinner featuring the presentation of the LONGINES World’s Best Jockey award, and the big race day at Sha Tin on December 10.
“Racing in Hong Kong is an exciting and unique experience and we are thrilled to share that with racing fans at Equestricon,” said George Irvine, the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Commingling Development Director.
“Since the launch of commingling a few years ago, we have engaged customers to learn more about Hong Kong racing and the interest level is really growing. Offering free past performances, race replays and unrivaled data, which includes full workout reports and veterinary details, Hong Kong racing is an incredibly attractive proposition, particularly to North American players unaccustomed to this type of information. We have full card analysis for each race meeting via the Daily Racing Form’s website too. While there is much to learn, we really offer the tools to dive in and experience a truly world-class product,” Irvine added.
Those tools should offer special appeal to handicappers and horseplayers, to whom the Equestricon program has been largely tailored. Among the more than 80 panels, workshops, seminars and other events scheduled for the convention, are sessions focusing on introductory handicapping, tournament and contest play, as well as advanced technology and wagering tools.
Tickets for Equestricon at the Saratoga Springs City Center on August 14-15 start at just $25 for a two-day general admission pass. The Lucky Draw contest will be open to everyone over the age of 18, from general admission to Panel Pass to VIP ticket-holders. Entering the sweepstakes is as simple as completing and depositing a free entry card in a designated area of the convention hall. Entrants must also tweet, prior to the draw, that they have entered the #HKIR Lucky Draw.
The winner will be drawn around 4:30 pm on Tuesday, August 15, during the “Perspectives: International Racing Viewpoints" panel at Equestricon, sponsored by the Breeders’ Cup. Alternate entries will also be drawn, just in case the first person drawn has not tweeted about the #HKIR Lucky Draw, or might not be able to attend.
The international viewpoints panel will be moderated by Pat Cummings, the Executive Manager, Public Affairs (Racing) for the HKJC. The panel will feature noted international broadcasters Nick Luck and Laura King, as well U.K.-based bloodstock agent and veterinarian Adam Driver, and Dora Delgado, Senior Vice President of Racing & Nominations at Breeders’ Cup.
“Getting started can be intimidating,” Cummings said. “We have a diverse panel with a wealth of overseas racing experience and there will much to glean from the discussion – both about how racing operates in other parts of the world and how those jurisdictions look at American racing.”
Raising awareness of international racing among U.S. racing fans and bettors has been a personal cause for Cummings. Prior to joining the HKJC, Cummings covered Dubai racing with the goal of sharing insights and handicapping information on racing in Dubai.
In Hong Kong, among his many other duties over the course of the ten-month racing season, Cummings coordinates the highly-successful HKIR “Social Media Team” initiative. Each year, Cummings invites select social media influencers (those with larger, engaged followings on Twitter, for example) to experience HKIR and share it with their audiences back home. The winner of the #HKIR Lucky Draw will travel to Hong Kong with the 2017 HKIR Social Media Team.
“The HKIR is one of the world’s most exciting and lucrative weeks of racing,” Cummings said. “From the International Jockeys’ Championship in a magical urban setting at Happy Valley Racecourse, to the thrilling four year-ending Group 1 turf races we will have at Sha Tin on December 10 and including all the hospitality and events in between, the winner of the #HKIR Lucky Draw is in for a treat. We will roll out the red carpet for what is really a bucket list experience.”
Equestricon is an international convention for an international sport, and the sponsorship from theHKJC helps solidify that element. The HKJC is a perfect partner because Equestricon shares its spirit of trying to break new ground in the world of horse racing.
Among the people who have taken notice of the explosion in visibility of Hong Kong racing in the U.S. is Equestricon co-founder Justin Nicholson. It was during Tordjman’s trip to Hong Kong with the 2015 HKIR Social Team that Nicholson found himself glued to Twitter, watching all of the festivities unfold. To Nicholson, the reach and popularity of racing from Hong Kong has noticeably expanded since then.
“What Hong Kong has done over the last couple years is incredible,” Nicholson said. “When they see something as valuable and important, they try to make the best of that opportunity.”
Irvine emphasized that in Equestricon, the HKJC sees such an opportunity — a global venture worth standing behind and standing with.
“Equestricon caught our attention because of its tremendously diverse platform and engagement strategy and we wanted to make sure that we brought the growing global momentum behind Hong Kong racing, through commingling, to a welcoming audience,” Irvine said.
To learn more about racing in Hong Kong, and to hear from the various representatives scheduled to participate, be sure to attend the International Racing Viewpoints panel on August 15. You can learn more about that panel here.
Before that panel, remember to submit your entry for the #HKIR Lucky Draw and tweet about the drawing. If your name is drawn during the panel, you and a friend will be on your way to the Hong Kong International Races for the experience of a lifetime, courtesy of the Hong Kong Jockey Club and Equestricon.