The owners say the club had denied having any plans to quit racing. They said the MJC encouraged them to buy new horses, which they did under the assumption the club would continue operating for the duration of its concession (granted until 2048).
A meeting last Friday reportedly ended without any sort of deal being reached. Racehorse owners were said to have left the MJC premises “angry and very upset” with the club, according to a nameless source who spoke to TDM.
“They told us that no compensation is being discussed at this stage, which really means there won’t be any compensation at all,” the person said.
Almost 300 racehorses are currently stabled in Macao. The official plan had been for them all to leave the SAR by April 1, when the MJC officially shuts down.
That means horses will need to be transported either to the Chinese mainland or overseas. The government has reportedly confirmed an agreement is in place with mainland authorities to have the horses shifted to facilities across the border.
However, it is understood that many owners do not want that to happen – and do not trust it would be in their animals’ best interests.
Some have expressed an interest in sending their horses to countries like Australia and New Zealand, but it is a very costly process. The compensation demand from the MJC would help cover the cost of travel and quarantine, they said.
Macao’s horse owners have given the MJC until this Friday to come up with an acceptable compensation proposal. If the club does not, the owners have threatened to take it to court.