British horse racing plans restart

British horse racing could resume in mid-May.
British horse racing could resume in mid-May.

British Horse Racing Authority plans provisional schedule for the resumption of racing.

UK.- The British Horse Racing Authority’s ‘Resumption of Racing Group’ will publish a provisional schedule this week as it prepares to resume racing following the Coronavirus crisis.

The group has invited race courses to submit expressions of interest to stage fixtures over the coming months.

The provisional programme will set out an agenda for the first seven days of racing to be implemented whenever racing is able to recommence.

The group will later publish the rest of the provisional programme until the end of June. It said this would be as close as possible to the original programme for the period.

The British Horse Racing Authority said that prize money will inevitably be lower than recent levels because betting shops remain closed and races will be held without spectators.

It says it plans to resume horse racing in a phased approach towards a normal fixture list. It has developed plans for different scenarios that can be implemented and adapted as needed to meet evolving public health guidelines.

The initial plan is for British horse racing to restart behind closed doors under strict conditions and at locations that meet specific criteria around risk mitigation and infection control.

This may include full quarantine conditions at secured sites if necessary, or events at designated race courses that can meet hygiene conditions, social distancing measures and provide appropriate medical provision.

Under the strictest scenarios considered, attendance would be limited to only the staff essential to deliver the fixture.

In all circumstances, races will initially be restricted to the most experienced jockeys and will allow UK-trained runners only, with a maximum 12 runners on field. 

The body has also announced a best-case scenario plan to reschedule key Pattern and Listed events that were cancelled during lockdown for later this month, giving priority to the Classics.

Norway resumed horse racing behind closed doors last week. Germany was due to restart today (May 3) but the initial fixture in Dortmund has been cancelled. Another race is due to be held on Thursday in Hanover.

France has set a date to resume racing from May 11.

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