French Racing Could Be Ready To Resume By May 11

Horse racing in France has been suspended since March 17 due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, but it could resume from May 11. Racing would be behind closed doors and under strictly supervised sanitary conditions, just as other European countries are also preparing to gradually resume horse racing.

Tens of thousands of French households live from the horse racing industry, from stud farms to training stables, taking care of the horses and seeing to their welfare. While the races were stopped, most of the work had to be done as horses, especially those trained for competition, cannot live in confinement. Training yards and stud farms continued to operate, without being able to get any resources from racing, their natural source of income

However, the health and welfare of all those involved in the organization of racing meetings will be the main priority of France Galop and LeTROT. Racing would be conducted behind closed doors, as it was the last days before it had to be halted on March 17. This successful experience on the Oise racecourses in March showed our ability to ensure satisfactory sanitary conditions of all those participating in our race meetings.

Very strict limitations will be enforced. For example, the connections of a horse declared to run will be limited to his or her groom, his or her trainer, and his or her jockey/driver.

The staff in charge of the meetings’ organization will also be very restricted. Access to the racecourses will be highly monitored, and all participants will be provided with the equipment necessary to work in good conditions without taking any risks. Shared spaces will be set up to avoid contact between those participating. In order to further minimize health hazard, horses trained abroad and jockeys holding a license issued in a country other than France (unless they are confined to France) will not be allowed to participate in French races, until the end of May at least.

These restrictive measures will not allow the organization of all the race meetings initially scheduled, as certain racecourses do not have the facilities required to fully meet these precautionary requirements. Planning and relocation projects for local (PMH) meetings are being studied so as not to further harm stables more particularly involved in these programs.

In terms of the program, in view of a resumption of activity from Monday, May 11, the Racing authorities have paid particular attention to respecting the balances between the different categories of horses, breeds and areas. France Galop and LeTrot will publish their program in the next few days.

The allocation policy will depend on the outcome of a work in progress with the Government. Indeed, prize money and premiums are financed by the proceeds of betting, and if the races could resume on May 11, the PMU’s network would still only be very partially reactivated, depriving the whole racing industry of most of its resources. The meeting held on Tuesday, April 21 between the Presidents of the racing associations and the involved Ministers proved to be constructive and everything is made to allow the racing industry to overcome the financial damage caused by this sanitary crisis.

If France Galop and LeTrot are getting ready to resume racing at the national level from May 11, it all comes down to the evolution of the pandemic and the measures taken by the Government regarding the gradual exit from the lockdown.

The French racing authorities stay alert and able to respond to any other constraints imposed by the Government.

The post French Racing Could Be Ready To Resume By May 11 appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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