Brian Kavanagh

Owners Again Banned From Irish Courses

Owners in Ireland are once again banned from watching their runners in person, as Irish racing will continue behind closed doors due to the coronavirus. The Irish government moved the whole country to level three restrictions on Monday evening following an Irish Cabinet meeting with chief medical officer Dr. Tony Holohan earlier in the day. The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) had recommended all of Ireland be placed under level five restrictions for the next four weeks. Under level five restrictions all organised sports are halted. Prior to tonight's...

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Irish Government Releases New COVID Guidelines, Spectators Possible

Crowds of up to 500 people will be possible at Irish racecourses, after the Irish government announced the latest COVID-19 rules on Tuesday. Ireland is at stage 2 in the government's coronavirus alert, which allows for 200 more people at racecourses than previously. If Ireland reaches stage 1, 500 people would allowed, up from 200. If the pandemic worsens and reaches stage 3 or stage 4 in the new grading system, racing would once again go behind closed doors. At stage 5, racing, along with other sports, would cease. "It's...

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Group 1 Jockeys Exempt From Irish Quarantine

Overseas jockeys will be permitted to bypass Ireland's 14-day quarantine requirement to ride on Group 1 cards, with the Irish government granting an exemption for elite athletes and sportspeople ahead of Irish Champions Weekend next weekend. Irish jockeys traveling overseas to ride in Group 1s will also be exempt from quarantine upon return. "We have had a change in the government protocols concerning sportspeople and athletes published today, but it is very much on a case-by-case basis," confirmed Horse Racing Ireland Chief Executive Officer Brian Kavanagh. "It will be limited...

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Goffs Orby, Sportsman’s Sales To Be Held In Doncaster

Goffs will stage its Orby and Sportsman's Sales at its Goffs UK sales complex in Doncaster this year rather than at Kildare Paddocks in Ireland. The dates for the sales have also been slightly adjusted; the Sportsman's Sale has been moved a week earlier to Sept. 24 and 25, while the Orby Sale will take place slightly later than planned on Oct. 1 and 2 to allow buyers who wish to attend Books 1 and 2 of Keeneland September to self-isolate for two weeks before traveling to Doncaster. The location...

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Owners Remain Barred From Irish Courses

The Irish government has extended its racing-behind-closed-doors policy until at least Sept. 13, Racing Post reported on Tuesday. As a result, owners remain barred from Irish courses for the time being as a result of Taoiseach Micheal Martin's announcement. Originally, in phase four of Ireland's  reopening process the limit on people allowed at an outdoor event was going to increase from 200 to 500 on Aug. 31. Horse Racing Ireland Chief Executive Brian Kavanagh told Racing Post, "We have said all along that owners are the first priority and there...

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Irish Statistics Drive Home COVID Impact

Horse Racing Ireland on Friday released its mid-year figures, and with indicators down across the board they highlighted the severe repercussions the COVID-19 pandemic has had. Betting with on-course bookmakers and the Tote was down 73.9% through the first half of the year; the public has not been allowed on an Irish racecourse since early March, and thus attendance has been down by 80%. Eighty-seven fixtures were lost between March and June, and severe interruption to the sales calendar meant public auction sales in Ireland are down 87.3% year-on-year. The...

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HRI RAISES €50K for Feed the Heroes

An online auction promoted and managed by Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) raised €50,000 for the Feed The Heroes, a not-for-profit voluntary organisation set up to feed frontline hospital and emergency workers dealing with the Covid-19 health emergency. The auction generated €31,158, and the HRI donated the balance to reach the final total of €50,000. The 36 auction items included a Galway Festival course walk with Ruby Walsh, corporate hospitality at Longines Irish Champions Weekend, signed Al Boum Photo silks and a yard visit to Ger Lyons. The top lot was...

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HRI Supports Racing Industry

Horse Racing Ireland's (HRI) Industry Education and Training Department have co-ordinated a variety of platforms and services to support the racing industry while racing is suspended due to COVID-19. Among services funded by HRI: Industry Assistance Programme (IAP), offering free access to trained counsellors, psychotherapists and information specialists who provide emotional support.  www.workinracing.ie/industry-welfare/industry-assistance-programme/ Providing horsemen with a COVID-19 business continuity planning best practices information. Sports psychology and other support for jockeys/apprentices, through the 'The Jockey Pathway' workinracing.ie/jockey-pathway/ HRI's Industry Education and Training Department COVID-19 FAQ for employers, available at https://www.workinracing.ie/....

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European Nations Liaise Over Pattern Adjustment

The announcement from Jockey Club Racecourses on Tuesday afternoon clarified, up to a point, a view which many within racing already held: that a number of the Classics would not go ahead on their original scheduled dates. There are 427 Group races and 426 listed races scheduled on the Flat in Europe this year. Only a handful has been run so far this year, the most recent being the one Group race and one listed contest on the card at Naas on Monday, Mar. 23. The next day, Ireland followed...

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Remaining Irish National Hunt Season Cancelled; Punchestown Off

The Board of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) has agreed to conclude the 2019/2020 National Hunt season, effective immediately, with the spring festivals at Fairyhouse and Punchestown not to be rescheduled as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. "We have stressed throughout that Government and HSE guidelines around fighting Covid-19 must come first and racing will only be able to resume when the Government guidelines permit and when there is adequate medical cover in place to ensure that race meetings can be staged safely," said Nicky Hartery, Chairman of Horse Racing...

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Irish Racing Committed to Fight COVID-19 Amid Suspension of Racing

Horse Racing Ireland Chairman Nicky Hartery admits the sport possibly faces its "greatest challenge" after the decision was taken to suspend racing until the middle of April. Ireland had been racing behind closed doors since Mar. 13 as countries around the world battle to stop the spread of coronavirus. However, on Tuesday the Irish Government announced it was cancelling all sports events, even those without spectators, until at least Apr. 19--leaving the HRI board to assess the implications at a meeting on Wednesday. Hartery said, "What is most important is...

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Germany Hit By Pattern Downgrades

The downgrading of a pair of German Group 2s and a distance changes for two key French 2-year-old races were among the outcomes of the European Pattern Committee's annual meeting at the British Horseracing Authority offices on Jan. 23. Germany was hit hardest in the quality control realm, its Meilen Trophy and Goldene Peitsche downgraded from Group 2 status, and the G1 Deutsches Derby, G1 Preis von Europa, G2 Diana Trial and G2 T. von Zastrow Stutenpreis all put on notice for risk of downgrading in 2021. France was issued...

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