South Korea emerging as a horse racing hub

Horse racing fans know that lucrative horse races take place in Japan throughout the year. However, another Asian nation is fast emerging as a horse racing hub that is paying out large sums of money to trainers, owners, and jockeys. Horse race fans can visit Pennsylvania online sports betting for the latest events and wager on the horses they believe will win on a race day.

South Korea has become a horse racing hub despite it being a relatively new phenomenon in the country. The Korean Racing Authority amazingly estimates that 13 million South Korean residents attend horse races. That figure represents 25% of South Korea’s total population.

Why is horse racing’s popularity increasing?

Modern horse racing in South Korean made its debut in the 1920s. The horse racing featured the modern betting system in which horse racing around the world features. Although the sport has been present on the peninsula for nearly a century, it has only recently soared to new heights.

South Koreans, as a population, are renowned for supporting their countrymen who find success outside of the peninsula. More South Korean trainers, horses, and owners are participating in races around the globe.

The prestige of South Koreans participating in events outside the country continues to grow interest from those inside the nation. In addition, more South Korean races are attracting top competitors from other countries which is bringing out fans to watch at home racecourses.

Another reason horse racing’s popularity in South Korea is growing is thanks to music. K-Pop music, one of South Korea’s biggest exports, provides a concert-like atmosphere for big race events. The chance to see K-Pop music stars live brings out locals that wouldn’t normally watch horse racing. The KRA has also added theme park rides to the infield of racecourses to make it a family-friendly environment.

South Korea’s most popular horse races

South Korea has two premier horse races that attract the eyes of the nation. The races hold the same prestige as the Grand National and Cheltenham Festival in England or the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes in the United States.

The Korea Cup and the Korea Sprint are the country’s most famous races. The races are both held at the country’s top racecourse, the LetsRun Park in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do. Both events take place in September with horses over three-years old competing for the illustrious trophies and prize money.

The Korea Cup has a large prize purse of nearly $900,000. The Korea Sprint offers a similar large prize purse with $626,000 up for grabs for the runners.

In 2018, nine different nations were represented during the Korea Autumn Racing Carnival. It is the annual carnival that hosts both the Korea Cup and the Korea Sprint. Horses and race teams from the USA, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Japan all participated at the carnival.

Race days in South Korea are fun-filled days that are more than just watching horse racing. While they may not have the pomp and circumstance of top races in England and the US, they offer locals something special. The Korean Cup and Korea Sprint also provide large prize purses to competitors.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 17-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. He cashed on the 2018 NHC Tour with a 19th overall finish. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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