In an effort to further foster the horse industry and popularize horse racing, Korea Racing Authority (KRA), the sole horse racing organization in Korea, will host three major international horse races this year, namely the Korea Cup, Korea Sprint and SBS Sports Sprint.
Among these, KRA will hold the Second 1800-meter Korea Cup horse race and 1200-meter Korea Sprint horse race on Sept. 10, 2017 at the Lets Run Park in Seoul. Total amount of prize money of these two races is KRW1.7 billion won (approx. $1.5 million), the largest amount in the 95-year history of horse race in Korea.
Designed for advancement and globalization of Korean horse race industry, KRA places the highest priority on Korea Cup horse race as the most important international horse racing event, calling it the ‘Horse Racing Olympics’. This race will be taken part by 16 outstanding racing horses, including 8 from Korea and 8 from other countries, such as Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Hong Kong and the United States, which are classified as PART I, the group of advanced nations in horse race. In addition, the 37th Asia Racing Conference will be held in May 2018 at COEX in Seoul hosted by KRA and organized by the Asian Racing Federation. The Conference is expected to be attended by over 800 officials, experts and business leaders from 25 countries.
KRA expects the Korea Cup horse race and the Asia Racing Conference will contribute to accelerating Korea’s inclusion to PART I. Korea was graded as PART II country in July 2016. KRA also expects Korea Cup horse race to serve as a chance of expanding export of horse race transmission to other countries. Starting with Singapore in 2013, KRA has been continuously expanding export of horse race transmission to France in 2014, Malaysia in 2015, and then to Australia, Hong Kong and Macao in 2016. The horse racing industry in Korea has been developing rapidly over the past decade, and as of 2012, the overall attendance figures reached 16 million with betting turnover around $7 billion. And revenue in Korea’s horse-related industry, including export of racing horses and horse race transmission, exceeded KRW3.4 trillion (approx. $2.96 billion) in 2016.
Aiming to upgrade to PART I by 2022, KRA will continuously hold international horse races such as Korea Cup while drastically enhancing capabilities of racing horses. It will also supplement horse training facilities and improve race courses, while reinforcing education and training of horse racing-related professionals, such as horse trainers, jockeys and horse racing managers. Besides, KRA is also committed to change the populace’s perception that horse race is no longer a gamble but sound leisure culture by holding various cultural activities in the Lets Run Park. Meanwhile, it will encourage the private sector to strengthen production, nurture and training of racing horses.