With COVID-19 growing rapidly, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has decided to discuss a new approach that will keep the horseracing industry alive, in addition to respecting guidelines and recommendations provided by the COVID-19 Steering Group.
Essentially the BHA is a leadership which includes racecourses, participants and the governing body, and it has issued a statement which explains how the races will continue as scheduled, but behind closed doors. This measurement will help the industry protect everyone involved, cope with the lack of staff, and prevent large groups from gathering in public spaces.
The first race meeting without a live audience took place on Monday 16th March in Kelso with jockeys, trainers, racecourse staff, stable staff and officials present.
Martin Cruddace, the Chief Executive of the Arena Racing Company (ARC), predicts that the races will be closed to the audience until the end of March or until the end of June, in the worst-case scenario.
Racing’s fixture list will also be considered to create a sustainable schedule in light of possible staff absences. Even though there is no audience, majority of the races will be broadcast on television.