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Racing continues in Ireland wi...
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Racing continues in Ireland with overseas runners banned

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

16:47 18 Mar 2020

Horse Racing Ireland have implemented even stricter measures on the sport in this country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Action will continue behind closed doors, but there will be no runners permitted from overseas. 

Evening fixtures have also been shelved, and a sub-committee will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation in relation to racing on a daily basis. 

HRI have also offered the use of their facilities to the government if required.

The following is the list of new measures to be implemented:

  • There will be no evening meetings and no double meetings - this will reduce  the draw on medical resources, a principal concern for larger racing jurisdictions with multiple meetings every day
  • A maximum of one meeting per day to reduce impact on resources
  • Jockeys’ weights to increase by 2lb from Friday, on the Flat and in National Hunt - all racecourse saunas are closed
  • No owners permitted to attend race meetings
  • No overseas runners will be permitted for the time being in Irish races
  • A maximum of 30-minute intervals between races to assist social distancing
  • The previously approved protocols will continue and are set out in the attached Appendix

HRI Chairman Brian Hartery said of the new measures, "These are unprecedented and sombre times and we are seeking the best ways to support the racing community and industry throughout what lies ahead.

"Health and welfare of employees and industry participants is the prime consideration and within that context, we have introduced protocols which can allow racing to continue and thousands of families who rely on the sector to maintain a livelihood.

"This will be kept under review on a daily basis and we are also planning measures for reprogramming fixtures  as it becomes required.  Changes to the programme will be separately announced.

"We have consulted with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine throughout this process and we will continue to strictly adhere to the Government and HSE advice.

"We have made it clear at all times that our medical facilities and personnel will be available for the Government to use if necessary – that will take precedence above any other consideration."

With evening fixtures effectively banned, Dundalk's Friday night meetings for the rest of the month will be run on afternoons instead.

The list of changes can be seen in the table below.

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Coronavirus Covid-19 HRI Horse Racing Ireland

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