Hanho Cho, a rider with burning passion for equestrianism, has been appointed as the 38th chairman of Korean Equestrian Federation.
|A Talk with Hanho Cho, the 38th Chairman of Korean Equestrian Federation|
Q, Please say hello to our viewers.
Hello, I’m Hanho Cho, the new chairman of Korean Equestrian Federation. As someone who loves horse riding above all else, I couldn’t just sit back and watch our Equestrian Federation struggle through difficult times.So I decided to take on the responsibility as the chairmanand do my best to stabilize it.I look forward to everyone’s support and cooperation. Thank you.
Q, What are some strengths about Korean equestrianism?
As we all know, Koreans have always been historically- horse riders.I really think it’s in our genes to adore and admire horse riding.In terms of talent and potential, our riders do not fall short behind European riders.We are yet to have good horses and infrastructures to train those horses, so we rely on imported horses.But with skilled trainers and horses, I believeour riders will be on a par with European riders.In fact, a few have already been on the Olympics and are continuing to train for it.So in the future, I hope that Korea will be one of the leading countries for equestrianism.I will do my best to and work with chairmen of different associations across the country to build a strong, well-established federation.
Q, What are your plans to popularize equestrianism?
I’m looking into utilizing media such as YouTube to publicize and tell people more about horse riding games, and their benefits.The ultimate goal would be to familiarize as many people as possible with equestrianism.
Q, What do you think is the biggest issue in Korean equestrianism?
I believe fairness is the most important thing because horse riding games are all about the scores at the end of the day- especially in dressage and obstacle courses.Any and all kinds of sports should maintain fairness for further development.But sadly, equestrian communityhas been dividing because that essence of fairness has not been secured.Bringing this broken community together is something I always think about, and in my opinion, fairness and harmony are the keys.
Q, How about equestrianism for youth?
There has been a lot of competitions for youth, with help from different organizations such as Horse Affairs Association.I think it’s really our job as a federation to create an environment for youth to continue horse riding, and to build programs that will continue throughout different levels of education.But as you know, there was an incident, and now universities are not accepting students who specialize in equestrianism.So it’s now up to us to communicate with university personnel and open up that door again, and create college level training programs. Future of Korean equestrianism depends on our youth.
Of course, horse riding is for everyone- but to foster professional and systematic equestrianism, we should focus on training our youth.
Q, Plans for international competitions?
It is true that there are only few competitions in Korea.
Right now, there are about 10 competitions. So my plan is to increase that number by working together with different large companies.Another is to focus on international competitions.If we could work with nearby China and Japan, and exchange each other’s strengths through international events, that will help us learn and progress.As a federation, we will start to communicate with Chinese and Japanese equestrian federations.Until now, we had couple exchanges with Japan, but not with China.But since Chinese market is so big, the possibilities seem endless.I think Korea, China, and Japan will be able to make huge progress if we work together.
Q, Competitions for casual riders and elite riders?
If you visit competitions for casual riders, it feels more like a festival.It’s a bit chaotic, but fun and exciting at the same time.On the other hand, when I visited the elite level competition, everything felt so serious and boring, to be honest.So even before I became the chairman, I always dreamed about bringing those two events together. I knew there were few competitions like that.But I found out that it’s very difficult to do so because in areas like Sangju and Jangsoo, there are only about 200 stables.So now I’m looking into building temporary stables to foster events where both casual riders and elite riders can come together. It may be possible to do so for major competitions such as Presidential Cup and National Liberation Day Cup.And when resources allow, I want to open more events like that so that competitions feel more like festivals, to create more opportunities for casual and elite riders to compete together.When casual riders see elite riders, they will feel more motivated about the sport, too. So yes, if possible, I will do my best to make this happen.
Q, How did you get into horse riding?
I used to play golf, but I wanted to play a sport that I could enjoy with my family- so I started horse riding in 2009.Normally, people quit after falling a few times from a horse, because they become fearful- but luckily, I fell in love with it even more despite falling from a horse a few times.Right from the beginning, I was interested in studying dressage techniques. That’s why I’ve been horse rising for 11 years now.And I was lucky enough to train with a dressage instructor, which allowed me to build my skills, and buy a good horse. As a result, Iwon a bronze medal at the national competition in 2017.But I still don’t see myself as an elite rider- I see myself as more of a casual sportsman.At the same time, with enough training, I also think a casual sportsman can eventually become a professional.So really, the boundary between the two should gradually disappear.
Q, As a neurosurgeon, what do you say are benefits of horse riding?
Mentally, you get to train humility and patience.The way you sit on a horse will definitely help you build your core and back muscles.Riding a horse for about 30 to 40 minutes is a great cardiovascular training.My medical checkup results showed that my cardiopulmonary function is better by 130% compared to other people of my age.So yes, horse riding is good for your back, mentality, and cardiopulmonary health.
Q, Any last words to horse riders?
As you all know, equestrianism is such a wonderful sport.Of course, there are difficult moments when it comes to buying and selling horses, and learning how to ride.But once you overcome those moments, you will fall in love with horse riding even more.As a federation, we will work hard to reduce those difficulties and any inconveniences.And since I myself havebeen a horse rider for 11 years, I truly understand how you feel.
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