Plan released for the racing industry’s pandemic response

30 Mar 2020 BHA Features

The industry group coordinating work to respond to the coronavirus has today published an operational plan setting out work currently underway.

The operational plan can be viewed here.

The purpose of the plan is to protect the health of British racing’s people, horses and businesses during the pandemic and plan for the earliest possible resumption of racing and a strong recovery.

The plan provides an overview of the wide and comprehensive range of activity, led by the Industry’s COVID-19 Group, to meet the challenges to the racing industry presented by the pandemic.

It sets out objectives for five key streams of work, including finance, people, equine health and welfare, resumption and recovery.

The plan will structure and drive the work going forward and be used as a template for reporting back to senior leaders, the industry and external stakeholders where required.

It has been developed by the Industry Group (IG) and approved by the Members’ Committee of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) representing racing’s tripartite leadership of the Racecourse Association (RCA), The Horsemen’s Group (THG) and the governing body and regulator, the BHA.

The industry group includes the Chief Executives of the BHA, RCA, National Trainers Federation (NTF), Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) and Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA), and has direct input from the chief executives of other industry organisations such as the Horserace Betting Levy Board, Racing Foundation and Racing Welfare.

Speaking on behalf of the group, a spokesman said:

“The Industry Group is working hard to meet the needs of the racing industry in this period of great uncertainty. There has already been a huge collaborative effort and this will continue as we move to a point at which we can resume racing.

“We are publishing the plan so that the industry’s stakeholders and participants can see the extensive programme of work that is underway.  We believe this will help avoid duplication and use resources in the best possible way. We will continue to give updates at regular intervals.”

A financial submission to government, developed with input from the group, is being sent to the Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS). The submission suggests a range of ways in which racing can work with government to reduce the economic impact to the industry, including further financial support.