A Day at the Korean Horse Races with Outstanding Students

In May, two of the top English students at my school took part in a regional English speaking competition in Busan, South Korea.  I live and teach on an island called Yeoung-do.  This English public speaking competition attracted close to 50 of the island’s top students.  Each student wrote a speech about what would make Yeoung-do a “Happy Yeong-do”.  I didn’t have the opportunity to be there, but from the students account, there were approximately 4 or 5 judges to grade them on presentation, pronunciation, and content (including visuals).  Well, I am PROUD to announce that my own two Namdo Girl’s Middle School students took 2nd and 3rd place in the entire competition.  It was fierce competition from many schools, and my girls made their spot on the podium.  I like to think it’s because I am now at the school, but the truth is, these are gifted and focused students.  Both with amazing personalities as well.  I was sincerely proud that they were my students.

So proud, that I contacted a friend of mine who is the Senior Stipendiary Steward at the Korea Racing Authority (KRA) in Busan.  A stipendiary steward ensures racing events are conducted in line with the rules and regulations of the Racing Authority’s governing body.  One of the four KRA locations is the Busan Gyeongnam racecourse.  The KRA is the only racing authority in Korea and is under the supervision on the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries.
Jockeys being questioned after a race

My friend was able to schedule a time for me, my boss, and one of these awesome students and her friend (the other student who placed in the competition was sick) to visit the race track and be part of the “KRA Honorary Steward” program.  This activity takes participants all through the premises to see how daily operations take place.  We were shown how the stipendiary department monitors and issues citations against jockeys for numerous infractions such as race fixing or breaking general rules during a race.  We also had the opportunity to meet many of the Racing Authority’s senior management, the jockeys, and of course…the HORSES.

It was a fantastic experience that far exceeded my expectations.  We were treated like royalty and shown so much that goes on behind the scenes of a horse racing organization.

This is definitely one of the highlights of my time in Korea so far.

Here is the VIDEO!!


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