HONG Kong’s most successful female jockey, Kei Chiong, has announced that she’s retiring from racing. The 25-year-old ends her career with 58 wins.
Two years ago Chiong, as an apprentice took Hong Kong horse racing by storm but the 25-year-old has announced her retirement effective immediately after failing to recovery from a finger injury.
When Chiong returned from a stint in riding New Zealand in 2015 she became the first female jockey to ride full-time at Sha Tin in 15 years.
After a slow start Chiong was able to rise through the ranks with the help and guidance of South African Felix Coetzee. She rode an historic four winners in one day, becoming champion apprentice in her first season and winning the inaugural Tony Cruz Award for leading local jockey.
Dubbed the “leading lady” of Hong Kong racing, she was also crowned most popular jockey for that breakout season, winning a fan vote ahead of superstars like Joao Moreira, Zac Purton and Douglas Whyte.
Last season Chiong struggled though and after missing the start of this season with a tendon injury she announced her retirement on Sunday on social media platform Instagram.
“Today is a big day to me,” she wrote in Chinese. “I understand it might be a shocking news to many of you, but while taking rest in the past six months, I did try to think ahead for my career and future.
“For the sake of health, I decided to end my career as a jockey and explore a new life. The decision was made after much consideration with my family and trainer.”
Photo: Kenneth Chan.