coronavirus and horse racing

HRI Publishes COVID-19 Protocols

In the wake of Friday's announcement that racing will begin again in Ireland on June 8, Horse Racing Ireland on Saturday published a protocol document outlining the procedures that will be in place for operation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The procedures, developing by HRI in consultation with the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, must be undertaken by all racecourses hosting fixtures. A series of educational webinars will be announced next week to further assist understanding. "We have worked closely with the IHRB and the Senior Medical Officer Dr Jennifer Pugh in...

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Irish Racing Unlikely In May

It appears unlikely that racing in Ireland will return in May, with the department of agriculture, food and the marine confirming on Thursday that racing falls under the umbrella of outdoor sports behind closed doors that will not be permitted to resume until the country's third tier of re-opening on June 29. The government has said it will consider proposals from sectors that wish to have restrictions lifted earlier, and Horse Racing Ireland said in a release on Thursday evening that it is in ongoing talks with the government. There...

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Germany Leads Big Five Resumption

Germany gains a welcome foothold in Europe, today, as the first of the continent's big five racing jurisdictions to reopen for business and, with France preparing for a Monday restart too, the enforced period of inactivity appears to be at an end. Scandinavia has kept the ball rolling while elsewhere lay dormant, but now the spotlight shines on Hannover, which plays host to the country's first Thoroughbred race since Stall vom Odon's 9-year-old gelding Kitaneso (GB) (Medicean {GB}) prevailed in a 13 1/2-furlong selling heat, the closing act of Dortmund's...

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Global Views: Adversity Leads To Necessary Change

In our Global Views column, we hear from trainees of Godolphin Flying Start. Adversity is simply the change that we have not adapted to yet. It is an inevitable aspect of life and often reflects negative circumstances, however, it is a vital component of growth. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause widespread disruptions to our industry, it is time to rise to the challenge. Times of challenge bring unique opportunities. While racing is suspended in many jurisdictions, the remaining regions have an opportunity to showcase the sport to a...

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Burke Hoping For German Permission

Pattern racing is due to return at Cologne in Germany next Friday with the G2 Carl Jespers Preis and the G3 Cologne Classic, and North Yorkshire-based trainer Karl Burke is hoping he will be permitted to run Kelly's Dino (Fr) (Doctor Dino {Fr}) and Emaraty Hero (GB) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) in those 12 and 10 furlong contests, respectively. "I'm not sure we will be allowed to run, but I've not heard for definite yet," Burke said. "We want to run, the horses are ready to run, but having spoken...

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Mark Johnston Hit With Coronavirus

Mark Johnston, Britain's winning-most trainer, is self-isolating at home in North Yorkshire after receiving a positive test for coronavirus. The Scotsman told horseracingplanet.com that he began showing symptoms last Tuesday, and received a test on Wednesday after his symptoms had failed to subside. "It started with a cough and I tried to play it down," Johnston said. "I didn't really think I had it but after four days my temperature was off the scale and then I had no choice but to accept it." "I didn't really want any publicity...

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Prize-Money Upheld for BBAG Sales Races

German auction house BBAG, which runs a series of sales races throughout the season, has warned that the race dates may be subject to change but that the prize-money will not be altered. The German racing authority Deutscher Galopp is currently hoping that racing will be able to resume in the country from May. The BBAG Auction Races series offers prize-money of just over €1.1 million for 18 races for graduates of its yearling sales—seven for 2-year-olds and the remaining 11 for 3-year-olds. The first of these, for 3-year-olds, is...

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Canterbury Furloughs 850 Workers

Canterbury Park has furloughed approximately 850 employees as a result of their temporary closure due to the coronavirus, and has subjected key personnel to salary reductions, according to a statement from the Canterbury Park Holding Corporation Wednesday. "Since suspending all operations at Canterbury Park on March 16, 2020, we have acted aggressively to preserve cash by reducing our operating expenses, suspending or delaying our 2020 planned capital expenditures, and suspending our quarterly cash dividend," said Randy Sampson, Canterbury Park President and CEO. "The additional actions we are implementing today are...

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Aqueduct on Cuomo's List of Possible Hospital Sites

Aqueduct Racetrack is on the list of possible additional new hospital sites for New York State, according to N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who discussed the issue at his daily press briefing Friday. Cuomo said that the state is looking for sites with a 1,000-plus patient capacity in each of the five New York City boroughs, as well as Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Aqueduct is located in South Ozone Park in the borough of Queens. New York is already building a temporary hospital in the Jacob Javits Convention Center...

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Hannon Calls For COVID Clarity

Trainer Richard Hannon said he would like to see more clarity from the British Horseracing Authority as to when racing can be expected to resume in Britain, and what the schedule might look like. The sport's governing body announced on Mar. 17 that racing would be off in Britain through April, and said on Thursday that a bigger plan would be revealed early next week. "I think it would be nice if the BHA made an announcement, to give owners something to look forward to and trainers something to work...

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BHA Issues COVID Response Updates
BHA Issues COVID Response Updates

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...

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Castellano Tests Positive for Coronavirus; Gulfstream Will Race

Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano has tested positive for the coronavirus, reports his agent, John Panagot. Castellano is the first North American-based jockey known to have come down with the illness. Castellano had been riding at Gulfstream, but Bill Badgett, the executive director of Florida racing operations for The Stronach Group, said that racing will continue at the South Florida racetrack. He said that Castellano has not ridden at Gulfstream since Mar. 15 and was tested on Sunday when he returned to Florida from New York. "We put protocols...

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