Day: September 8, 2010

Stalling For Korea

Gyongmaman generally gets excited about all things horse racing. Yet even he struggles to raise much enthusiasm about starting gates – or “stalls” as he was brought up to say. However, a strangely high number of googlers arriving at this site by way of the search term “Korean starting gates” this week did remind him that last weekend, the Korean racing media was gushing in its approval of the fact that Seoul and Busan Race Parks have acquired new starting gates which are, for the first-time ever, Korean made!

Threeway view: But only 12 could fit in the old nasty foreign-made gate

And how are they? Actually, Gyongmaman didn’t notice, but apparently the new ones can accommodate a full field of fourteen horses in a single unit. Fourteen is the maximum number of horses permitted to run in any race in Korea. The old ones had twelve and two had to be joined together for races which attracted a full entry. Unfortunately, the only picture Gyongmaman took of the gates last weekend was the one below – taken in a torrential downpour while the photographer had a substantial sum riding on the winner – but there are, indubitably fourteen stalls in the one unit. Bravo Korean technology!

It's wet and Lee Ae Li is in the foreground, but yes, you can see that 14 horses can fit into these gates!