KRA Aims to be Global Top 5 Horse Industry Entity
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KRA Aims to be Global Top 5 Horse Industry Entity
A racetrack is coming back to life in two years after social distancing restrictions have been ease.

25(Wed), May, 2022

A racetrack is coming back to life in two years after social distancing restrictions have been ease.

Korea Racing Authority (KRA) came up with a plan to reinvent the troubled horse racing and the horse industry and nurture them into a public leisure segment and a future growth engine industry. 

The plan is designed to restore public trust over the horse racing, dogged with a myriad of woes such as falling deaths of jockeys, public mistrust over horse racing, and management recession, caused by the protracted spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The innovation plan calls for transferring KRA’s exclusive rights to operate horse racing competitions to organizations related to horse racing,; relocating and closing horse racing ticket issuance offices outside racecourses on a gradual basis,; improving working conditions of employees with the horse racing segment and the welfare of horses,; and shifting the KRA focused on horse racing into an integrated entity with horse racing and horse raising industry. 

Specifically, the innovation place calls for implementing 21 tasks in five sectors: building shared growth ecosystem of the horse racing industry, prioritizing lives and safety at the field, shaking off the negative views over horse racing, expanding a foundation for the horse industry, and KRA’s structural innovation. 

Among the core takeaways of the innovation plan are the disbanding of KRA’s screening assistant jockey’s opening of businesses, inaugurating of a working-level horse racing consultation committee in which officials with the horse racing business participate in a decision-making process, massive reorganizing of KRA and diversifying of business models. 

The innovation plan was worked out after one-year operation of KRA’s innovation committee comprising officials related to horse racing and outside experts and civic bodies based on a service commissioned to an accounting firms. 

Chairman Chung Ki-hwan of Korea Racing Authority (KRA) declares a new vision for the next 100 years at a ceremony to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the launch of modern horse racing at Let’s Run Park Seoul on May 19. (Photos: KRA)

The predecessor of KRA was established in 1922. A modern horse racing competition took place in May of the same year. 

An individual horse ownership made its debut in 1993 like advanced countries of horse racing, a shift from KRA’s horse ownership. The latest innovation plan came 30 years after the inauguration of the individual horse ownership. 

The innovation plan was worked out in early 2021, but it was put on hold due to the disruption of horse racing competitions, caused by the spread of the pandemic and the resignation of former KRA chairman Kim Woo-nam. 

The plan was released ahead of the inauguration of the President Yoon Suk-yeol government and the celebration of the 100th anniversary of horse racing.

KRA Chairman Chung said, “KRA’s innovation plan is the start and the end of efforts to overcome a management crisis.” KRA will make efforts to implement innovation tasks seamlessly by taking stock of the implementation process firsthand, he said. 

Meanwhile, KRA Chairman Chung took office as the 38th chairman of the KRA at an inauguration ceremony at its headquarters in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do, on Feb. 16. 

In his inaugural speech, Chairman Chung said he would be armed with a heavy sense of responsibility amid this crisis, which is caused by the pandemic, that has interrupted horse racing competitions. 

He also stressed massive innovation amid outside and inside environmental changes, saying that the KRA will focus on normalizing management, creating social values and ramping up integrity and ethical awareness. 

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