Seoul goes ahead as planned / Suicide Note reported found
The Korea Racing Authority (KRA), has confirmed that Sunday’s scheduled card at Busan Race Park has been cancelled following the apparent suicide of jockey Park Jin Hee. After no jockeys arrived for trackwork on Saturday morning, official race trials were cancelled and with no-one in the mood for racing, the decision was made to abandon activity at the track until next weekend.
Meanwhile, several local media outlets are reporting that a suicide note was found in Park’s apartment. Written on two sides of A4 paper, the note detailed the extreme stress that Park was suffering following a difficult year which had only yielded one winner; the problems she was now facing in even getting rides and the hardships that resulted from this. The note reportedly also said that she could no longer cope with the intense competition she faced as a jockey.
There was a solemn mood over Seoul Race Park today as racing went on. In light of the news from Busan, several jockeys were released from their riding engagements. One of those was Lee Ae Li, who trained with Park at the KRA’s Jockey Academy. The two women gained their professional licenses on the same day, September 13, 2002, as they became only the third and fourth Korean women in history to qualify as professional jockeys.
Racing at Seoul on Sunday will go ahead and the Busan track will be open for simulcasting from Seoul. The race program has been amended slightly at Seoul. The first race is at 11:20 and the last at 17:30.