Korea Racing Blog
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Good-to-firm Monday's card is a 2 Clear Meeting. Standard-to-slow All races Quickpick 5: Good All races Quickpick 2: Yielding-to-soft All races Quickpick 4: Standard All races Quickpick Fast All races Quickpick 9: Fast All races Quickpick 6: Los Alamitos Racecourse All races Golden Gate Fields All races Fast All races Presque Isle Downs Going: Fast All races Quickpick Finger Lakes All races Quickpick 6: Valparaiso All races Quickpick 5: Good All races Quickpick Sprintvalley All races Quickpick 8: Steepledowns All races Quickpick 8: KRA is carrying out various projects, such as the all-Korean-horse riding campaign, the visiting riding schools, and rehabilitation riding for disabled children, as part of KRA's "Support Life with Horse Riding" Program.
KRA operates various cultural programs for the purpose of expanding the country's horse culture and stimulating its regional cultures. KRA is also exerting its utmost efforts to communicate with more people by holding many cultural festivals and operating permanent cultural spaces in race parks as well as KRA Plazas' cultural centers. The use of horses by humans can be traced back to the remote ages, farther back than we imagine. Some horse pens have been found in the Neolithic dwelling remains in Middle Asia, and historic records show that horses were among the major trading items in the ancient countries.
The same was true in Korea. It can also be said that the ancient countries gave much importance to horses. They held memorial services for horse ancestors in the royal courts, established horse registers to control the horse population, and translated, compiled, and distributed horse medical books imported from China. To promote better understanding of horses, let us look into the major uses of horses in the past.
Horses were used by the armed forces in warfare on a national scale. This was why the government commandeered people along with their horses when a war broke out. It is very rare for an excellent steed not to appear at all in a story about a famous general. It became a major species. The domesticated horses were used in hunting for wild animals. These historic facts, based on evidences discovered in the s through historic researches from the related literature, were perseveringly restored.
Horses are important because of their utility as means of transportation and communication. First, horses played a major role in enabling ancient states to seize power from other peoples living in remote provinces as they were the fastest transport means then. As horses, however, a transfer point in the middle of a course was needed to enable the horse to negotiate the same distance in the shortest time possible.
The Silla Dynasty launched a system of paving the government roads, and installed stations on major paths, where horses could be transferred. It is interesting that the lines connecting such stations are not much different from the current railway and road networks.
Horses were also used in farming. Although it is not likely that the average farmers owned a horse as horses were as expensive as two or three slaves in the Joseon Dynasty, it is evident that horses were widely used in farming, along with cattle, as it was written in the agricultural books dating back to the Joseon Dynasty that horses pulled farming tools like the namtae a traditional Korean farming tool for leveling or hardening the ground to plow fields, and as instructions on how to make fertilizers from horse manure appear in such books.
Besides, horses were used to deliver the crops and to turn the millstone when pounding the harvest. The horse bones were used in medicine, and the horsemeat and horse milk were supplied as foods.
This is shown by the fact that horses still hold an important position in our works of art, such as our literature and paintings, as well as in our sports and recreational activities. Horses are expected to nestle down deeply in our lives again, thanks to the development of the horse industry in the 21st century, as they have been traditionally recognized by the Koreans as useful and divine animals. Horse racing in Korea traces back to May , when a foreign-language institute run by the government held a donkey race on its sports day.
In April , the first race meeting in the country that was open to the public was held. The races, however, were for entertainment purposes only. No betting was conducted. In , Joseon Racing Club, the nation's first-ever authorized horse racing club, was established to make horse racing more systematic and better organized.
In , the pari-mutuel betting system was officially adopted for the first time in Korea. The Sinseol-dong racecourse opened in , and the incorporated racing clubs were allowed to have their own racecourses. Finally, in , a decree on horse racing was promulgated.
Under the decree, only incorporated racing clubs were allowed to conduct horse racing. Joseon Horse Racing Association non-governmental was also established in to coordinate and control the incorporated racing clubs across the nation and to ensure consistency in their administration. The governmental regulatory body, Joseon Racing Association was established in Later, in , Joseon Racing Association was renamed "Korea Racing Association KRA ", and efforts were made to restore the national identity in relation to horse racing.
The Korean War, however, which broke out in , resulted in great turmoil for the Korean society, thus undermining the development of horse racing. Worse yet, during the three-year war, racecourses were used for military training and horse racing came to an abrupt halt. To keep the tradition of horse racing alive, KRA worked out a plan to reestablish the racecourse at Ttukseom in Seoul. The construction, which began during the war, was completed in May Thanks to KRA's dedication, horse racing resumed in South Korea, and the newly constructed Ttukseom racecourse served as the hub of Korean horse racing until it was relocated to the modern racecourse in Gwacheon in The enactment of the Korea Racing Association Law in provided a legal basis to Korean horse racing.
Pari-mutuel bets were tallied manually until The inefficient management of the pari-mutuel betting system was a major stumbling block to broadening the fan base of Korean horse racing.
To overcome this fundamental obstacle, a computerized pari-mutuel betting system was established in , and at the same time, horse racing came to be televised in color, both on and off-course. These two measures played a decisive role in boosting the attendance and turnover. To form a link in the chain of the program so as to make the most of the Olympic facilities, the government designated KRA as the organization that was exclusively responsible for constructing the Olympic Equestrian Park.
Accordingly, KRA secured acres of land in the Gwacheon area, the southern outskirts of Seoul, and began the construction of the park in After the Olympics, the Olympic Equestrian Park was converted into a racing facility named "Seoul Racecourse," and the first race in such facility was held on September 1, With the opening of the Seoul Racecourse, the year-long era of the Ttukseom Racecourse came to an end, and the nation's horse racing continued to make great strides.
As part of the efforts to preserve the ponies native to Jeju Island, which has been designated as Natural Monument No. Halla in October Three years later, in October , the racecourse opened for pony racing.
Korea held the 30th Asian Racing Conference in May In an effort to raise the country's racing quality and to promote horse racing nationwide, KRA started the construction of a new thoroughbred racecourse in Busan, the second largest city in South Korea.