WHAT DOES RACING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS LOOK LIKE?
Throughout the suspension of racing, the sport worked tirelessly to ensure racing in Scotland was ready to return behind closed doors on Monday 22nd June.
This means no crowds and only a minimum number of people permitted to attend each racecourse – only those who are integral to the raceday taking place.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) had cancelled all fixtures for June, July and August and has replaced them with a revised raceday programme.
This film explains exactly how we will safely stage a raceday behind closed doors, showing you everything from how officials, racecourse employees, stable staff and jockeys will be screened and who will be required to wear masks, right through to ‘one way’ systems in operation and how social distancing will work. https://www.dropbox.com/s/p7ge3e4krq6kpu7/1.%20RACING%20RESUMES.mp4?dl=0
IS IT SAFE TO RACE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS?
Our industry and many of our 20,000 staff have adapted to training and caring for thoroughbred racehorses while following social distancing regulations. Racing is a non-contact sport taking place outdoors and has already returned or continued safely behind closed doors in Germany, Australia and the United States.
We are working with Public Health officials to protect those coming back to work, the local communities in which race meetings take place and the wider public, against the risk of transmission of Covid-19. Scottish racing generates economic activity of £306 million annually in Scotland and supports 3,400 FTE job roles across the country.
With only 3.7% of all British horses in training being resident in Scotland, the five Scottish racecourses rely heavily on being able to accommodate horses to race from all areas of Britain. The British Horseracing Authority has issued protocols for the safe movement of all horses, jockeys, racing staff and their relevant equipment
This is our six-point plan for returning safely behind closed doors:
- A phased return under central control with clear accountabilities
Our plans, drawing upon our own and international experience, will be implemented at racecourses that have been inspected and selected for their suitability. The sport’s regulator, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), has worked closely with local racecourses to manage risks.
- Managing the health and safety of participants and the risks of spreading infection
All those attending will be medically screened before arrival, with guidance provided for safe travel to and from racecourses. We have detailed plans for social distancing, including reconfigured courses, redesigned changing facilities and one-way flows of people, as well as deep cleaning and PPE.
- Use of medical services and equipment
Our plans limit the use of NHS resources, with private ambulance and hospital cover used, apart from in the most exceptional cases. We have taken advice from Public Health officials on testing and protective equipment to ensure there is no impact on health and social care.
- Engaging all participants, staff and officials ahead of resumption
It is compulsory for all staff and participants to complete an online education module which provides all racecourse attendees with a baseline understanding of Covid-19, social distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene, racecourse protocols and PPE requirements. Access to the racecourse will not be granted until the module has been completed.
- Engaging local communities to provide reassurance and information
We will update local residents, businesses and authorities on how our events are being operated safely, including prevention of any crowd gatherings.
- Broadcasting and coverage of resumption
We are working with broadcasters to explain the steps taken to limit risks to participants while promoting good public health behaviours and responsible gambling messaging to audiences watching and enjoying the sport on TV.
For further FAQs on horseracing’s return, please see: http://media.britishhorseracing.com/bha/covid19/Resumption_Q&A.pdf
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF RESUMING RACING?
We will get our people back to work, protect their livelihoods, and allow thousands of equine athletes to race as they have been bred and trained to do.
This will reduce the burden on the taxpayer by allowing staff across Scottish racing to be un-furloughed and generate significant revenues to pay for public services.
Our big summer Flat races are the showcase for a world-leading racing and breeding industry and keep international investment flowing into Scotland, creating jobs and prosperity.
The best races are free to watch on ITV, bringing live sport back to our screens, lifting people’s spirits and making lockdown restrictions easier to bear.