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Kim Myung-gi Rides in His Fourth Equestrian Cross-Country Tour

Kim Myung-gi Rides in His Fourth Equestrian Cross-Country Tour

Posted June. 25, 2005 06:06,   


“There was a time when I spent 20 to 30 million won a month on a corporate card and earned billions of won a year. At that time I was only thinking about making more money. Last year, I only made about 4 million won by writing a book, but I am very happy.”

Every summer, Kim Myung-gi (43, chief trainer of Korean cross-country horseback riding) rides a horse on a cross-country tour. He has a happy-go-lucky attitude. He thinks of himself as a marginalized member of society. However, he said with a broad smile, “I don’t care.”

He participated in an interview with the Dong-A Ilbo on Wednesday in a small house on a camping ground in Gonjiam, Gwangju, Gyeonggi province where he lives alone. He has no television. He does not read the newspaper. Twinkling stars in the sky and insects, whose names one hardly knows, are his friends. Among his friends, horses are his favorite. He takes good care of horses at the nearby Royal Horse-Riding Club (Chairman: Rim Sang-gyun) as if they are family members. Of course, he is not the owner of the horses.

“Horses are honest. They are as innocent as children. Whenever I go out and come home, they welcome me by jumping like puppies and rubbing their faces against me.”

He was once a high-flying businessman of Factory Automation (FA). He frequently traveled more than 20 countries. In 1997, he went bankrupt. His wife left him. He went through a painful time and even thought of committing suicide. He accidentally made a special friendship with horses at a nearby ranch when he lived in an abolished house near Seosamreung, Goyang City, Gyeonggi province. In a blind pursuit of money, humans sometimes betray friendship and even love, whereas horses never betray.

“In July 2002, I set off on a horse-riding cross-country tour (Seoul-Mokpo-Jeju, 440 kilometers) with eight scouts and three horses thanks to the help of acquaintances. The course was one of the five Yeokchamno (a place where horses are stationed and where people changed horses during the Joseon Dynasty). I covered the Seoul-Daegu-Busan course in 2003 as well as the Seoul-Gangneung course. I am sorry that I can’t cover the remaining two courses (Seoul-Sineuju, Seoul-Hamheung-Najin) in North Korea.”

He plans to go on a “horse-riding cross-country tour for the reunification of Koreas” along villages in the far northern part of the country with 20 university students from July 8 to July 16 (For more information : www.gima.or.kr, 02-422-9287).

His hometown is Gangneung City, Gangwon Province. When he really wants to see the sea, he writes a letter to his son (15) who is living with his father (67) and mother (63).

“Dear my son. Lead a slow life. Be lazy. But choose the right path. Don’t be afraid of living on the margin of a society. Every person you meet is your God.”

Hwa-Sung Kim mars@donga.com