22 June 2020

British Horseracing Authority assures owners that return is a priority

22 June 2020

The British Horseracing Authority has promised owners it is hoping to publish proposals “very soon” which will enable them to watch their horses in person on course again.

In an open letter from BHA chief operating officer Richard Wayman to owners, he thanks them for their loyalty while social-distancing measures remain in place at meetings to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic – and outlines planning under way to ensure they “will be back on the racecourse in the very near future”.

Since the fixture list resumed at the start of this month, regulations in Britain have stipulated that attendance must be strictly limited to key personnel – with a maximum of around 500 permitted at Royal Ascot last week.

In some other jurisdictions, a gradual relaxation of crowd limits is to be introduced – including France, where up to 5,000 racegoers will be allowed at all meetings from July 11.

Wayman said: “I want to thank owners for your continued patience and understanding during a very difficult period for our sport. You’ve shown incredible loyalty, and I know how disappointing it is that you haven’t been able to watch your horses run.

“In the early stages of resumption, we have had to limit racecourse attendance to only the very minimum number of attendees with essential functional roles. This has enabled us to embed the new safety protocols in raceday operations and give participants time to adjust to different ways of working.

“Nonetheless, we have stated repeatedly that owners are integral to racing, and that getting you back onto the racecourse is an absolute priority as soon as it is safe and practicable to do so.

“We’ve been working on a phased, risk-managed plan, that adheres to the necessary safety protocols, including social distancing. We expect to have specific proposals ready to share very soon – and look forward to welcoming owners back onto the racecourse.”

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