A COVID-19 response plan for the UK racing industry was published on Monday by the industry group coordinating the response and liaising with the UK government. The purpose of the operational plan is to protect the health of British racing's people, horses, and businesses during the pandemic and have a blueprint in place for the earliest possible resumption of racing and a strong recovery once racing has begun again. It also outlines the range of activities, led by the industry's COVID-19 Group, to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic.
It sets out objectives for five key streams of work, including finance, people, equine health and welfare, resumption and recovery. The plan will structure and drive the work going forward and be used as a template for reporting back to senior leaders, the industry and external stakeholders where required.
It has been developed by the Industry Group (IG) and approved by the Members' Committee of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) representing racing's tripartite leadership of the Racecourse Association (RCA), The Horsemen's Group (THG) and the governing body and regulator, the BHA.
The industry group includes the Chief Executives of the BHA, RCA, National Trainers Federation (NTF), Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) and Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA), and has direct input from the chief executives of other industry organisations such as the Horserace Betting Levy Board, Racing Foundation and Racing Welfare.
“The Industry Group is working hard to meet the needs of the racing industry in this period of great uncertainty,” said a spokesman from the COVID-19 Group. “There has already been a huge collaborative effort and this will continue as we move to a point at which we can resume racing.
“We are publishing the plan so that the industry's stakeholders and participants can see the extensive programme of work that is underway. We believe this will help avoid duplication and use resources in the best possible way. We will continue to give updates at regular intervals.”
In addition to the latest plan information, a financial submission to the UK government, developed with input from the group, is being sent to the Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS). In the submission, a wide range of ways in which racing can work with government to reduce the economic impact to the industry is detailed, including further financial support.