Owner update from racing industry leaders

03 Nov 2020 BHA Features Racing/Fixtures

The following statement has been issued on behalf of racing industry leaders

Owners will be able to continue to attend race meetings in England from Thursday in line with the government’s decision that elite sport can continue during the national lockdown.

Having consulted with government, racing will put in place additional measures in line with the restrictions due to be imposed from Thursday 5 November. These include

  • Racecourses will not be able to provide hospitality, in line with the government’s decision to close hospitality settings including restaurants, cafes and bars.
  • No more than two owners per horse will be able to attend, complying with the restriction that limits social mixing between households.
  • Owners’ time on courses will be limited as was the case when they returned to the racecourse in July. They will be able to arrive 45 minutes before their horse runs and are asked to make their way home as soon as they can after the race.

These restrictions will be in place for the duration of the national lockdown in England, which is due to finish on 2 December. Different rules are in place in Scotland and Wales, and owners should check the position with the relevant racecourse.

The decision to allow racing to continue behind closed doors in England – with a limited number of owners attending – recognises racing’s status as an elite sport. Racing’s participants and owners have acted with great responsibility and professionalism since the sport resumed on June 1st.  Strict controls have been in place and there is no evidence that the virus has been transmitted at a meeting behind closed doors.

Owners and participants attending meetings during the national lockdown will be expected to adhere to Government’s travel guidance, and should travel directly to and from the venue without stopping where possible, and avoid car sharing with anyone outside their own household or support bubble. Continued observance of these measures is vital to ensure that the sport continues behind closed doors.

The Owner Protocols for behind closed doors racing have been updated in line with the government guidance that will apply during the period of national restrictions. The full protocols are available here.

Owners attending the racecourse between 5 November and 2 December should ensure they have read and understood this guidance before travelling to the racecourse.