Tue, 17 Mar 2020
THE British Horseracing Authority have today (Tuesday) confirmed that all racing will be suspended until the end of April, as a result of the outbreak of coronavirus.
With effect from tomorrow, all horseracing in Britain will be suspended and the decision will continue to be kept under constant review.
The announcement comes just a day after the BHA announced that racing would continue, but behind closed doors and further to this the Randox Health Grand National has been cancelled due to coronavirus.
This means that this weekend's two-day meeting at Newbury Racecourse has been cancelled and the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials meeting is also set to be called off.
Further to this, the annual Lambourn Open Day - held on Good Friday - has also been postponed.
Nick Rust, the Chief Executive of the BHA, said: "This is a national emergency the like of which most of us have never seen before. We’re a sport that is proud of its connection to rural communities and to the local businesses that support our industry.
"But our first duty is to the health of the public, our customers and to racing industry participants and staff so we have decided to suspend racing following the government’s latest advice.
"Racing is a family and I know we will pull together over the coming days, weeks and months and support each other. By stopping racing, we can free up medical resources, doctors and ambulances, be they private sector or NHS, to assist in the national effort to fight this virus. And we can support racing industry participants and staff as they face up to the personal challenges ahead and care for their own families.
"There will be difficult months ahead for many of us. We need to focus now on ensuring that we can continue to look after our horses as the virus affects the thousands of participants and staff who dedicate their lives to caring for animals. We need to do what we can to support businesses inside and outside racing and the many people whose livelihoods depend upon this £4 billion industry.
"We are in constant contact with government which understands the very significant consequences of this decision for jobs and businesses. We will work with them to do our best to manage the impact.
"Racing leaders will keep today’s decision under constant review and endeavour to keep all customers, participants, staff and dependent businesses informed as the situation progresses."
A further statement from Newbury Racecourse, read: "On guidance from the British Horseracing Authority, racing will now be suspended until the end of April 2020 with the situation under constant review.
"All existing ticket purchasers for this weekend’s fixture (Friday 20 and Saturday 21 March) will be issued with an automatic refund within 14 working days and our box office team will be in touch with any ticket/hospitality bookers for any future affected meeting directly. We will also contact our Annual Members independently.
"We appreciate everyone’s support during this challenging time."