Korea’s Most Successful Female Jockey To Begin Training In July
After eighty-nine years of organised horse-racing on the peninsula, Korea is finally getting its first ever female Trainer after it was confirmed that Lee Shin Young will make the transition from riding to saddling on July 1.
As we reported last April Lee successfully passed the Trainer’s License exam to become eligible to take charge of her own barn once a vacancy became available. That vacancy has now arisen and thirty-one year old Lee will give up her Jockey license at the end of June to begin training full-time.
Lee was only the third woman to gain a Jockey license in Korea and in her ten-year career on the track has ridden 90 winners from 893 rides. Known for an aggressive racing style that proved popular with punters but frequently landed her in trouble with stewards, she holds the record for thoroughbred race wins by a female jockey in Korea (Na YuNa having ridden well over 150 winners in pony racing on Jeju Island). That record may soon be under threat from Kim Hae Sun who has notched 23 winners during her apprenticeship at Seoul so far.
Whether Lee will get much support from owners remains to be seen. As Peter Wolsley will testify at Busan, outsiders tend to start off their training careers with the horses nobody else wants. While she has been in Korean racing circles for a very long time, Lee Shin Young will know better than anyone else that there will be those who see her as an outsider. It’s going to be a tough road to success but there will be few who doubt her ability to successfully navigate it.
* Back in 2009, we wrote about the history of women in Korean racing. This was followed in 2010 by the death of jockey Park Jin Hee