Horse Racing to Continue Despite Coronavirus Outbreak in Ireland

Published 03/18/2020, 5:48 PM EDT


Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) will go ahead with races during the Coronavirus outbreak. They took this decision in adherence to Government guidelines regarding the pandemic. As a result, the races will be staged without spectators. The HRI made this decision citing a need to maintain income and employment for the industry people.

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Chairman of HRI Nick Harterey said they are seeking the best ways to support horse racing throughout these times. He added that this will be reviewed daily. Hartery revealed that measure for reprogramming fixtures has been planned. These changes to the programs will be announced as required.

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Horse Racing Ireland makes changes to meets

The HRI reviewed 5 races held since Friday. They decided to ban evening meets and scrap double meets. There will be only one meet a day. In addition to this, the racecourse saunas will be closed.

There have been large scale changes in the fixture list to avoid clashes and adhere to the one meet a day ruling.

Friday’s race at Louth will be held in the afternoon. Naas’ meet on Sunday is postponed to Monday. This ensures that the event does not clash with Downpatrick.

The Dundalk meet was advanced from 27th March to 25th March. Curragh’s meet moved ahead by a day from March 29 to March 28. The race at Navan too was forward by a day to March 27.

Only key personnel can attend

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Only key personnel like jockeys, stable staff and trainers will be permitted at the venue. The HRI said there would be, “strict protocols around social distancing and sanitization.”

In addition to spectators, team owners have been banned. Horse Racing Ireland has prohibited the participation of overseas runners. They announced 30-minute intervals between races to help social distancing.

Horse Racing in Britain suspended

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The British Horse Racing authority suspended all racing until the end of April. This came after they had plans to continue hosting events behind closed doors. Despite this, the Irish Horse Racing is continuing as the HRI seeks to maintain a safe working environment at its racecourses.

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Reubyn Coutinho

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Reubyn Coutinho is a Combat Sports editor at EssentiallySports with over 2 years of journalistic experience. Having earned his bachelor's degree in Mass Media with a specialization in Journalism from Xavier's College, Reubyn has interned with the sports desks at DNA and Times Now before joining EssentiallySports to further his passion for sports content. Reubyn has interviewed former UFC champions like 'Mighty Mouse' Demetrious Johnson and Miesha Tate.

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