The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has set out of the details of a provisional fixture schedule for June, July and August as racecourses plan to resume activity from the start of June.
The governing body for racing in Britain, has also published its list of technical guidelines for all participants and staff to enable racing to resume behind closed doors this summer.
According to the plan, racing will take place in England from 1 June in conformity with the UK Government’s provisional timetable which will see the return of sport behind closed doors. Racing had initially been suspended on 18 March after plans for closed doors meetings were abandoned.
In total, 292 scheduled meetings are set to be held in the three months up to the end of August with the first at Newcastle on 1-2 June and Kempton Park also featuring on June 2. Many of the season’s big fixtures, including Glorious Goodwood and the popular York Ebor meetings, are unchanged from the original schedule. It has also been announced that 72-hour declarations will apply to all races.
The BHA have said that fixtures in Scotland and Wales have only been provisionally scheduled, and will be confirmed only after further consultation with the regional governments on timescales.
Resumption will also be conditional upon the government agreeing to the easing of restrictions as part of step two in the UK coronavirus recovery strategy. This stage includes the return of professional sport and a range of other cultural events, and the BHA explained that government guidelines demand that participants take extensive actions before the resumption.
The guidelines set out by the BHA include a list of individuals permitted to attend meetings as well as extra rules on screening, protective equipment and social distancing. They have been drawn up with the help of officials from Public Health England and a range of chief medical officers. They were drawn together with the guidance of BHA Chief Medical Advisor, Dr Jerry Hill.
In their announcement, the BHA said they were working to the government guidance on the return of elite sports published thus far and will be flexible if the guidance changes. Speaking about the resumption, the Chief Regulatory Officer at the BHA, Brant Dunshea, said that racing had been able to draw on considerable experience of combating bio-threats:
“Our trainers, jockeys and staff carry out their roles in a highly disciplined way because working with horses always carries risks. I am very confident they will adapt quickly to this new set of measures designed to protect them from transmission of the virus.”