Horse riding in China: The process of introduction and development (part 1)

Equestrian clubs are booming in China to meet the aristocratic needs of the country’s elite. Equestrian sports has grown rapidly in China within 5 to 10 years, which is a change in perception. The number of Chinese participating in sports such as horseback riding is increasing as the development of the world’s second largest economy gives people the disposable income to pursue leisure activities. More and more Chinese are interested in horseback riding and horse events. The rise in luxury goods sales across Asia is due in part to the rise of a middle class in China.

Among the special luxury items favored by some wealthy Chinese are the owners of horses. This lifestyle associated with the hobby has become a new symbol of social status among a small but growing group in mainland China. Mao Zedong once banned horse racing and saw it as a hobby from the disgraceful capitalist regime. More than 60 years later, horse racing schools, soccer fields and equestrian clubs are opening businesses in Chinese cities. The number of horses imported from abroad increased rapidly with the construction of facilities for the sport and the sale of equipment, along with equestrian equipment.

Currently China has 300 horse racing clubs and 25 racecourse. The developer of a $ 2 billion horse project in Tianjin called Tianjin Equine Culture City, will build 4,000 horse stables, the latest horse veterinary hospital, 150 training and training offices. horse training, racecourse and club, and horse racing college. This facility is under construction. According to the annual report of Horsemanship magazine, there were 1,802 riding clubs in China as of July 2017, double the number in 2016.

According to Horsemanship magazine, most of the clubs are concentrated in Northern and Eastern China, especially Beijing and Shanghai. With the Chinese government announcing in 2014 that equestrian sports will be strongly supported, this trend is likely to continue. Even French President Emmanuel Macron came to China to bring the gift of a horse cavalry of the French Guards to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

A Short Brief of The History of Horse Riding

Horse riding activities started very early, right from the time people domesticated horses used to ride. Horses are considered domesticated from the vast plains of Central Asia. There is concrete evidence that the horse was ridden by antiquity in the Bronze Age Botai culture, circa 3600-3100 BC. The earliest evidence shows that the first horse was ridden around 3500 BC where evidence from horse skull bones was found in Kazakhstan.

After being domesticated and trained, horses were used for riding in the fighting wars of that time. Among the relics found, the ancient Egyptians knew how to ride horses 2,000 years ago. However, at that time, they only rode uneasily and did not know how to control the horse. They sat on the horse’s back or slanted to the back of the chest because at that time many horses were not strong enough to sit on their backs. It was not until the eighth century BC, after crossing many different horse breeds, people had a horse breed good enough to ride and flexible enough to use bows and arrows when moving.

In Europe, the art of horse riding developed early in Ancient Greece and became known worldwide through ancient bibliographies.
On Horseman ‘records the Codex of the writer Xenophon (430–345 BC), originally from the cavalry class of the Roman citadel. The Greek Olympic Games also included horse racing. By the Renaissance, in Italy, there was a trend of reviewing Xenophon’s remarks about Equestrianism and from there, it was rooted in modern European equestrian art. Thus, horse riding, as a noble sport originating from Europe, existed for centuries.

In the 18th century, a Frenchman by the name of Francois Robichon de la Guerinière was considered the beginning of modern equestrianism because he specialized in methods of training the equestrian art. Then, in the nineteenth century, a German, Gustav Steinbrecht, credited the basic postures and movements of modern equestrian art in Germany. Through the process of advocacy and development of equestrian art in Europe has spread to the world, leading to the emergence of many associations of horse racing and art horse riding.