A Guide To The Korea Racing Authority

The Korea Racing Authority is a government-owned organisation that manages and promotes thoroughbred horse racing in South Korea. It is run under the supervision of Korea’s Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries.

The main aim of the Korea Racing Authority is to contribute to the national financial resources via horse racing and promote projects for the development of agrarian and fishing villages and contribute to various social projects.

This article offers a helpful guide on the Korea Racing Authority, including its history, current role, and status.

History of the Korea Racing Authority

Horse racing in Korea dates back to the late nineteenth century when a foreign language institution organised a donkey race on its sports day. However, the first official horse race was held in the country in 1914. In 1920, the country’s first horse racing club, Joseon Racing Club, was established to make horse racing a more organised sport with a proper format.

The Joseon Horse Racing Association was formed in 1933 to control and coordinate the various racing clubs in Korea and ensure uniformity in their administrative practices. In 1949, the Joseon Horse Racing Association was renamed the Korea Racing Association to incorporate the element of national identity in the sport.

The horse racing industry suffered massively due to the Korean War in the 1950s, but the Korea Racing Association worked tirelessly to reinstate the status of horse racing and develop horse racing facilities in the country. In 1962, the Korea Racing Association Law was established to provide a legal framework for horse racing in Korea.

In the years that followed, there was a constant focus on developing the horse racing industry in Korea. This included the introduction of pari-mutuel betting, television coverage of races, development of training facilities, and racecourses for which the Korea Racing Association was the designated authority.

In 1984, the Olympic Equestrian Park was constructed in the Gwacheon Area on the outskirts of Seoul. This facility was converted into Seoul Racecourse five years later, which replaced the Ttukseom Racecourse as the primary horse racing facility in the region. This was followed by the construction of Jeju Racecourse and a Stud farm and Training Centre in the following decade. The Korea Racing Association was renamed Korea Racing Authority in 2007 to further clarify the role and responsibility of the organisation and cater to the ever-growing horse racing industry in Korea.

Korea Racing Authority Functions and Facilities

Currently, the Korea Racing Authority is the sole horse racing authority in Korea as per the law. It is responsible for overseeing all aspects related to horse racing in Korea. It promotes, develops, and trains racing horses and performs business activities to promote the horse racing industry in the country.

The Korea Racing Authority is also responsible for conducting businesses similar to horse racing, such as livestock rearing. The organisation is also committed to developing the fishing and agrarian villages near the horse racing and off-course betting facilities. It provides financial aid for the education of the children of farmers and fishermen and carries out welfare projects for the betterment of the communities.

Moreover, the Korea Racing Authority invests in corporations that deal with horse racing operations and other relevant businesses and provides support. It also oversees the management of Korea’s racecourse and horse training facilities. These include the following.

Let’s Run Park Seoul

The Korea Racing Authority, then known as Korea Racing Association, was tasked to construct an Equestrian Park for the Summer Olympics of 1988. Once the Olympics were over, the park was converted into the Seoul Let’s Run Park a year later.

Let’s Run Park Busan Gyeongnam

The Let’s Run Park in Busan was opened to the public in September 2005 to cater to the growing trend of horse racing and its increasing popularity. Construction of the park began in 2001 and was completed four years later.

Let’s Run Park Jeju

The Let’s Run Park Jeju was built in October 1987 to conduct pony races. The facility was conducted to promote the country’s livestock and horse racing industry and preserve the Korean native pony. Racing on the Jeju Racecourse began in 1990.

Jeju Stud Farm and Training Centre

The Jeju Stud Farm and Training Centre was opened by the Korea Racing Authority in 1995 to improve horse breeding and training quality in Korea. The farm is located on a land of 530 acres which is divided into two areas. One area is dedicated to training and rearing the horses, while the other is reserved for stud operations. The organisation also developed the Racehorse Breeding Technology Academy in 2005 in the farm’s training section.

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