- Quote: ‘I want to thank owners for their continued patience and understanding during an incredibly difficult period. You’ve shown incredible loyalty, despite disappointed you haven’t been able to watch your horses run’ – BHA’s Chief Operating Officer, Richard Wayman
By Andrew Atkinson
The British Horseracing Authority has written to racehorse owners in Britain to thank them for their continued loyalty during COVID-19 – deemed an enormously challenging period – to outline the planning underway to ensure owners will return on the racecourse in the near future.
“I want to thank owners for their continued patience and understanding during an incredibly difficult period for our sport. You’ve shown incredible loyalty and I know how disappointing it is that you haven’t been able to watch your horses run,” said the BHA’s Chief Operating Officer, Richard Wayman.
Racing was postponed in March following the coronavirus pandemic, returning in June, without owners, staged behind closed doors.
“In the early stages of resumption, we have had to limit racecourse attendance to only the very minimum number of attendees with essential functional roles.
“This has enabled us to embed the new safety protocols in raceday operations and give participants time to adjust to different ways of working.
“Nonetheless, we have stated repeatedly that owners are integral to racing, and that getting you back onto the racecourse is an absolute priority as soon as it is safe and practicable to do so.
“We’ve been working on a phased, risk-managed plan, that adheres to the necessary safety protocols, including social distancing.
“We expect to have specific proposals ready to share very soon and look forward to welcoming owners back onto the racecourse,” said Wayman.
Only jockeys, trainers and assistants, along with racecourse staff, have been allowed to attend meetings following the return of racing with strict protocol health and safety guidelines in place, including wearing masks.