American Steward Joins Seoul Panel

Seoul Racecourse has a new foreign steward. James Smith made his first appearance behind the binoculars this past weekend.

James Smith began officiating at Seoul at the weekend (Pic:KRA)

Smith who – if the picture to the left is anything to go by – is a man who clearly appreciates a good tie, is a fifty-six year old American and has spent most of his career officiating at tracks in Oregon, principally Portland Meadows but has also had stints at Minnesota’s Canterbury Park and Iowa’s Prairie Meadows.

He’s joined what is usually a five-man panel at Seoul but will occasionally be seen guesting at Busan and Jeju as the KRA likes its stewards to sit on different panels from time-to-time. Down at Busan an Australian, Brett Wright, is currently Chief Stipendiary Steward.

In addition to race day duties, the job description of overseas Stewards in Korea also includes being a “Special Advisor” on racing related issues, particularly with regard to the “internationalization” of Korean racing – not an easy task in Seoul.

The position had been vacant for five months since previous incumbent James Perry returned to his native Australia last September. Perry was sadly lost in the Queensland flooding last month.


  1. This is such a great man that I have grown to know. Seoul is lucky to have him as his friends and family in Oregon miss him tons.

  2. Sadly the U.S. has one of its great stewards ‘on loan’ to Seoul, but we will be happy to have him back in 2 years.. a more honest and straightforward man I have yet to meet. A tribute to horse racing everywhere!

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