Maskless Photo Draws COVID-19 Compliance Into Question At Keeneland September Yearling Sale

A photo in a tweet that circulated Thursday brought into question the enforcement of mask-wearing and social-distancing policies at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, leading Keeneland to issue a statement to Janet Patton of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The photo, taken by bloodstock agent Michael Hernon and since deleted, displayed a group of over 20 individuals inspecting and showing horses during an “Express Lane” event outside a Taylor Made Sales Agency barn, in which a group of upcoming offerings are paraded in front of prospective buyers all at once to limit the hassle and potential contact of individual showings. Only one or two of the people in photo whose faces are visible are properly wearing masks, a couple others have their masks around their chins, and the rest do not have any visible face covering on or around them.

Patton, a veteran journalist whose coverage has included the business of the Thoroughbred industry, retweeted the image with a comment tagging Keeneland that asked: “How does this square with the protocols?”

Per Keeneland’s COVID-19 safety policy for the sale: “All participants in the September Sale are required to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing of at least six feet at all times on the grounds – both indoors and outdoors.”

Fasig-Tipton also had a policy requiring masks at all times while on the property for the recent Selected Yearlings Showcase Sale, and photos from the sale revealed mixed success in mask enforcement, as well.

Buyers, owners, and bloodstock agents were not required to produce a negative COVID-19 test to gain entry to the property for either sale. That group is required to complete a health questionnaire prior to the sale, and daily temperature checks are taken. Negative tests were required for all others within 10 days of entry, including consignors and their crews, auction company staff, veterinarians, farriers, and media.

After the Keeneland photo gained some traction on social media, Patton contacted the company, which issued the following statement:

“Keeneland takes the health and safety of our employees and our sale participants very seriously, and we have addressed the issue pictured in the tweet with those involved. We remain vigilant in enforcing compliance with the COVID-19 protocols established to ensure that we, along with our consignors and buyers, are able to conduct the September Yearling Sale in a safe and responsible manner. Those protocols require that every person wears a mask at all times and maintains social distance. Please be assured that we continue to monitor our grounds to promote responsible behavior across the Keeneland campus.”

The post Maskless Photo Draws COVID-19 Compliance Into Question At Keeneland September Yearling Sale appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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