‘A Very Fragile Business’: Without Racing, Backstretch Workers At Santa Anita May Face Layoffs

Uncertainty has become the new normal, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the world. With horse racing shut down across most of the United States, backstretch workers are feeling that strain more than ever before.

At Santa Anita Park, there are approximately 750 grooms, hot walkers and exercise riders whose income depends directly on trainers having horses in the barn, according to the Pasadena Star News.

Since racing was shut down on March 27, there is no chance for the owners of the 1,700 horses stabled at the Southern California track to recoup the expenses of daily training. As a result, horses may be sold, taken out of training, or shipped to another state where racing is still happening.

When horses leave the barn, trainers end up having to lay off staff, according to trainer John Shirreffs.

“To meet the cost of labor, we need the income the purses generate,” said Shirreffs. “It’s a very fragile business. If it goes on too long, people will have to start laying off employees, which they will probably hate to do, but it will be the only thing they’ll be able to do.”

Read more at the Pasadena Star News.

The post ‘A Very Fragile Business’: Without Racing, Backstretch Workers At Santa Anita May Face Layoffs appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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