Beijing unveiled its first equestrian path for residents and tourists last week, attracting many visitors and arousing the curiosity of equine enthusiasts.
The 4.37-kilometer path in the Cuigezhuang area in Chaoyang district is the first to be built in the city. Construction began last year.
Visitors can ride horses to go sightseeing in forests, parks and vineyards along the path, which also passes beside lakes.
Wang Xiaoxiao, a 30-year-old white-collar worker in Beijing, said she would like to ride down the path.
"I have been learning to ride horses at a club in the suburbs," she said. "I watched an equestrian event a few years ago and became attracted to the sport. I think there are not many areas in the city for us to enjoy and experience the beauty of riding horses."
For people who don't know how to ride, the operator of the path will offer the services of horsemen to lead the horses so visitors can enjoy riding under the guidance of professionals. Fees have not yet been announced.
Anyone who wants to ride their own horse on the path should do so during operation hours and will be responsible for their own safety.
Wu Xuanhui, Party secretary of Cuigezhuang, said it has a long history of raising horses. He added that the path will hold equestrian sports events and help spread equine culture.
"The equestrian path will become a platform to link students, artists and other equine enthusiasts to hold and participate in equestrian cultural events," he said. "The area will provide a green space for citizens to enjoy the natural environment and sports."
The second phase of the project will include a greenway with exhibitions and facilities related to history, education, sports and leisure.
"Cuigezhuang has had a long history of raising horses since the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234)," Wu said. "In the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), soldiers watered their horses in the area."
Because of the close relationship with the industry, the names of many streets and locations in Cuigezhuang are associated with horses, he said.
"For instance, Naizifang (milk houses) was a horse milk production base that supplied the government during the Yuan Dynasty, while Caochangdi (meadow) was the place where horses were fed," Wu said.
A racecourse was built in Cuigezhuang in 2000 to develop its horse culture. The local government has been supporting the development of the horse industry in the area.