Horse and greyhound races will still take place but members of the public will be banned from attending.
New Zealand.- Races in New Zealand will not be suspended because of Coronavirus pandemic, but they will take place behind closed doors.
The only people permitted to attend will be jockeys and drivers competing in the races, trainers with runners participating, their stable or kennel staff and essential personnel.
The decision, that involves thoroughbred, harness and greyhound races, has been taken by the governing bodies of the three racing codes, in partnership with TAB NZ, the governing body for racing and wagering in the country.
The measure has come into effect immediately and will be in place until at least 13 April.
“The health and wellbeing of our participants and the wider community are of paramount importance at his time,” NZ Harness Racing Chief Executive, Peter Jensen, said.
“Public health is the number one priority and these restrictions will continue to be kept under constant review,” he added.
“We have the support of our recognised industry organisations – the trainers, jockeys and owners – along with our racing clubs to take whatever steps that we can to provide an appropriate framework to allow racing to continue,” New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) Chief Executive, Bernard Saundry, said.
“We recognise that these are extraordinary circumstances and they require extraordinary action,” he added.
“The key priority for the industry is to ensure the wellbeing of all of our staff, participants, supporters and the community, as well as our animals,” Greyhound NZ Chief Executive, Glenda Hughes, added.
“To ensure we achieve this Greyhound, Harness and Thoroughbred racing are working closely together to achieve this.”