BHA Issues COVID Response Updates

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Photo courtesy Racing Post

The British Horseracing Authority will release an overarching plan for the sport of horse racing early next week, but in the meantime on Thursday it issued updates on a few areas:

Apprentice agreements: changes to apprentice and conditional jockey and trainer agreements on the split of income and expenses, set to come into effect on Mar. 28, will be delayed.

Whip consultation: a consultation by the Horse Welfare Board has been delayed to allow for a focus on the COVID-19 response.

Early closing races: early closing deadlines have been temporarily suspended. Previous early closing races will revert to closing at the five or six day stage when racing resumes. Prizemoney levels will now be advertised 10 days pre-race. The 2000 and 1000 Guineas, which had already closed, will be reopened and now close at the five/six day stage.

Hunter Chases: have all been cancelled for the remainder of the season.

Musselburgh: The course’s current license was due to expire on Mar. 31 with renewal contingent upon completion of a deal with a third-party operator. The BHA has approved an extension of the license.

Flat jockey seminars: the April/May seminars have been cancelled. The BHA will reschedule them at an appropriate time in the future.

Rule changes: The BHA executive has been authorised by the BHA board to use the existing provisions under the Rules of Racing to waive, amend or suspend the Rules of Racing whilst racing is suspended and Government restrictions remain in place. This is to ensure the BHA can act and respond quickly as the situation with coronavirus develops to fully assist participants when required.

BHA officials also applauded the announcement on Thursday that government will make available a relief package for self-employed workers where they may receive a taxable grant of 80% of profits up to £2,500 a month beginning in June. Self employed individuals in racing include jockeys, valets, agents, horsebox drivers, veterinarians, media and broadcasters and racing photographers.

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