The planned resumption of German racing on Monday, May 4, will now be delayed after Dortmund racecourse was forced to scrap its opening meeting following regional government intervention.
On Saturday morning, Deutscher Galopp released a statement confirming that racing would not be able to proceed as planned despite the fact that the racing authority had previously secured permission to race behind closed doors under Germany's Animal Breeding Act.
Deutscher Galopp president Michael Vesper said, “It is a real shame that Dortmund cannot resume racing after a break of almost two months. According to the hygiene concept developed by us, there is no risk of infection from racing behind closed on expansive racetracks, and that has also been confirmed by local health authorities. We have received good understanding from the state regarding our concerns, but unfortunately after the meeting of the Chancellor with the heads of state [on Thursday], the time is obviously not yet right to resume. We will continue to talk to the relevant authorities.”
Andreas Tiedtke, president of Dortmund Racing Club, said, “While paying visitors are now visiting the zoo and museums, our breeding professionals and racing clubs are left with restrictions on our fundamental rights. Where is the proportionality of the measures if zoos allow one person per ten square metres, whereas we could allow 120 square metres per person to professionals?” He added, “In the interest of and with our responsibility to the breeding industry and many economically related businesses, we will continue to try to stage racing. We are ready and we exceed the requirements.”
Entries have been taken for the next planned race meeting in Germany, which is due to take place in Hannover on May 7. Further fixtures are scheduled for five consecutive days after that.
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet ministers on Wednesday, May 6, regarding the resumption of all sporting disciplines in the country.