The Seoul Racecourse Park is a hugely popular and impressive horse racing track in the city of Gwacheon in the Gyeonggi-do province of South Korea. The facility is managed by the Korean Racing Authority and has hosted some of the most prominent races held in Korea.
The park is a popular tourist destination with its impressive outlook and the magnificent Verdant Hills in the background. Here is a brief guide to the Seoul Racecourse Park, also referred to as LetsRun Park Seoul.
Seoul Racecourse History
Seoul racecourse Gwacheon facility was formed on 1st September 1989. Before shifting to its current site, which is its third home, the Seoul racecourse was located at Ttukseom on the northern side of the Hangang River.
Before this racetrack facility, the racecourse was functional since the early 1920s at the Seinseol-dong in the Dongdaemun district of South Korea. The Dongdaemun facility was operational till the war with North Korea, which started in 1950 and ended in 1953. As a result, the track was shut down, and a new racetrack was later built at Ttukseom.
In 1983, South Korea was awarded the Summer Olympics, which were to be held in 1988. However, it soon became evident that the Ttukseom racecourse was unsuitable for hosting the Olympics equestrian competitions. As the Korean Racing Authority (KRA) was tasked to organise the horse racing events, it set out to build a new facility.
The organisation acquired a site at Gwacheon on the southern side of the country to host the Olympics equestrian activities. Once the Olympics were over, the KRA converted the site into a racecourse.
Seoul Racecourse facilities
The LetsRun Park Seoul, or Seoul Racecourse, as many call it, occupies an area of 284 acres. If you want to get to the racecourse, you can take subway line four to get to the racecourse park station. Once there, make your way out by exit 1 or 2 and follow the crowds down the roofed path to the racetrack. You can purchase a one-time entrance ticket for 3,000 won.
Seoul Racecourse Key Facts
The Seoul Racecourse Park features two oval sand tracks. The artificial tracks have an inner circumference of 1,600m, while the outer circumference of these tracks is 1,900m. The sand tracks are 23m wide. They further widen to a size of 30m in the homestretch ahead to accommodate a 450m long stretch leading to the winning post.
The property features two grandstands. Initially, there was only the Happy Ville stand that could accommodate around 35,000 people. In 2003, another grandstand, Lucky Ville, was added to the park. It can accommodate more than 42,000 people, increasing the racecourse seating capacity to almost 80,000. The stands are equipped with numerous facilities, including restaurants, cafes, and fast food joints for the convenience of the spectators.
The saddling area has one building and 24 stalls, while the stable area has 60 buildings and around 1400 stalls. The Seoul Racecourse has two stable areas. The Sampo Stable Area can accommodate 600 horses, while the Juam Stable Area can house up to 700 horses simultaneously.
The racecourse is home to an Equine Museum, where you can find more than 1,500 items on display, some of these even dating back to the 1st century BC. These include the items that belonged to the time prior to the Three Kingdoms era. You may also find items from the Three Kingdoms era, the Goryo Dynasty, the Chosun Dynasty, and some from present times.
The property is not only home to a racecourse; it also features a family park with a beautiful rose garden. Visitors, including children, can come here to enjoy the beautiful park and do various activities like riding ponies or playing on simulation machines. If you visit in the summers, you will see people cooling off in the pool, and if you happen to go in the winter, you may see people skating across the rink.
Seoul Racecourse Racing Events
As mentioned earlier, the racecourse hosts some of the most popular thoroughbred horse racing events in South Korea. These include events like the Grand Prix (December), President’s race (November), Korean Sprint and Korea Cup (September), and the Korean Derby (May). Since 2011, the racecourse has held races every Saturday and Sunday throughout the year.
Racing fans have the option to vote at the end of every season for the horse they want to participate in the Grand Prix that takes place in December.
There are 12 races on Saturday and 11 races on Sundays. On race days, bettors have the opportunity to wager on at least two races from the racing tracks in Busan and Jeju, as the Seoul racecourse simulcasts races from these tracks as well.
When was the first race held at Seoul Racecourse?
The first race was held at the Seoul racecourse on 1st September 1989.
What is the seating capacity of Seoul Racecourse?
The Seoul Racecourse can accommodate around 80,000 spectators.
What is the Korean Triple Crown?
The Korean Triple crown is a series of three racing events, including the KRA Cup Mile, the Minister’s Cup, and the Korean Derby. Before 2008, the Ttukseom Cup was a part of the Triple Crown, which was replaced by the KRA Cup Mile.