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Under new tighter guidelines, horses continue to be exercised throughout Scotland, and the rest of the UK, in a week that saw us placed in an COVID-19 lockdown by the government.


Strict new measures introduced by PM Boris Johnson – and echoed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – travelling to and from certain forms of work is one of the few reasons people should leave their homes.


Work riders and stable staff are a crucial part of the industry as horses need regular exercise even though there is no racing taking place. 


The National Trainers Federation has likewise told members to continue exercising their horses while observing distancing rules with the utmost discipline.


Meanwhile Hamilton Park has announced the appointment of two key roles in their racing department as they have revealed a new Clerk of the Course and Track Manager.


Experienced trainer, owner and clerk Harriet Graham takes up the position as Clerk of the Course, a role she also currently occupies at Musselburgh, whilst Darren Bissett joins the team as Track Manager, taking the next step in his career following his role in the grounds team at Ayr as well as previous roles at Godolphin and Johnston Racing.


Harriet, also a former clerk at Perth, said: “I’m thrilled to be able to join Vivien and the team at Hamilton Park and look forward to helping deliver a great season of racing.”


Darren added “The opportunity to take up a role at Hamilton has come at the perfect time in my career. I’m incredibly excited by the challenge of maintaining and improving the already fantastic reputation the course has for both the quality of the racing surface and the presentation of the whole resort.”


Vivien Currie MBE, Chief Executive at Hamilton Park said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Harriet and Darren to the team in what are two pivotal roles in the delivery of our racing season. Naturally we are all facing an incredibly challenging time with racing suspended until the end of April, but we still need to prepare for the time when we can get underway again.


“Harriet brings with her a wealth of experience from across the industry which can only benefit our raceday operations, whilst Darren is looking to progress his career with us by stepping into a more senior role. We’re looking forward to supporting his development and helping them both to further enhance our reputation on and off the track.”


These are unprecedented times so please stay safe everyone and we’ll bring you any further developments, as and when, they happen.


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