Keeneland Further Elaborates On COVID-19 Policies For September Yearling Sale

Following is an open letter to the industry from Shannon B. Arvin, Keeneland’s president-elect and interim head of sales:

Over the past several weeks, the Keeneland team has been reviewing every aspect of our sales operation and collaborating with government and health officials to deliver the safest possible environment for our sales participants. To provide further assurances and consistency in the marketplace, we’ve continued to coordinate our protocols with Fasig-Tipton.

This week’s newsletter provides a thorough overview of these efforts and operational protocols for the Keeneland September Sale. As a reminder, please continue to reference for the latest updates.

Thank you for your loyal support of Keeneland this fall. Please don’t hesitate to contact me or any member of our sales team if you have questions related to the September Sale protocols or items specific to your operation.


Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton have partnered with a trusted technology provider, Virtual Badge, to serve our digital credential needs for both September sales. Both sales companies will share a common credential, conveniently accessible from your mobile device on the Virtual Badge app. In order to request a credential, please complete the following simple steps:

1. Download the Virtual Badge app on your smartphone in your App Store or Google Play. Create an account within the app, log in and select “Keeneland” under Organization.

2. Complete the credential application. Select your role at the sale and complete the questionnaire.
Buyers and their agents should complete the form and submit your request. No other action is needed.

All other sales participants should indicate whether you will be testing at Keeneland/Fasig-Tipton or off site. If testing at Keeneland or Fasig-Tipton, your results will be linked to your Virtual Badge account once a negative test is received.

If testing off site, upload a copy of your test result into the app.

3. Credential approved. You will receive notification within 48 hours after submitting your request and test results are received. Your approved credential will appear in the Virtual Badge app on your phone, which will be scanned at entry to the sales ground each day.

An approved credential issued by Keeneland or Fasig-Tipton will be valid for both sales, and therefore you will only need to complete this process once. Please apply with the organization that you will first enter within 10 days of your COVID-19 test.


COVID-19 testing will be available on-site at Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton beginning this Monday, Aug. 24. No appointment is necessary and you may arrive at any time during these testing windows. We ask that you print and complete this health questionnaire and waiver, and bring this paperwork with you when you arrive for testing.

Testing is available at the Keeneland Entertainment Center on the following dates. Please enter the grounds through Gate 1.

Aug 24-25 | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Aug. 31-Sept. 2 | 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sept. 11-12 | 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Please note that your COVID-19 test does not have to be taken at Keeneland; however, you must show proof of a negative test to submit your credential application, unless you are applying for a Buyer/Owner/Agent credential.


Earlier this week, we announced along with Fasig-Tipton a common set of protocols for those planning to attend both September sales. While protocols are consistent between Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton, please make note of the following additional operational changes that apply specifically to Keeneland sales:

Barn Area

The barn area is open to credentialed participants. Participants must wear a face covering and socially distance at all times. Only consignors and their staff will be permitted to enter barns and shedrows.

Van drivers are not permitted to leave their vehicles, and therefore consignors must meet their horses at the receiving chute to unload.

Back Holding Ring & Sales Ring

Capacity in the Back Holding Ring will be reduced to two horses at a time with a maximum of three representatives per horse (one groom, one showperson and one consignor). No one else may enter this area or congregate in the chute area.

To limit contact, the showperson responsible for the horse will also lead the horse while in the Sales Ring.

Sales Pavilion

Capacity will be limited in the Sales Arena to 40 percent. No seating will be permitted on the benches encircling the Sales Arena.

Bidding locations have been expanded to allow for social distancing. In addition to the Sales Arena and Back Holding Ring, buyers may bid in the Show Ring.

Sales Offices

The Sales Counter will operate as normal but we have constructed plexiglass to protect sales participants and staff. Access to this area will be limited based on the number of people in the office at a given time.

The Sales Accounting Offices will be expanded for increased space and distancing. Signage will be available to point to this area located to the left of the Sales Counter.

The Administrative Offices at Keeneland are closed. All paperwork should be submitted to the Sales Counter or the Stable Office.

We encourage you to visit for full details on these protocols as well as continued updates over the next few weeks.


We wanted to take the opportunity to also address questions that we have received since releasing the safety and testing protocols along with Fasig-Tipton earlier this week. Please continue to reach out with questions and we will continue to use this newsletter as well as our website to answer your questions.

Will I need to be tested a second time over the course of the sale?

A negative COVID-19 test is required within 10 days of your first entry to the Keeneland or Fasig-Tipton grounds. No re-testing is needed after that point unless it is deemed through contact tracing that you may have been exposed, at which point a new negative COVID-19 test will be requested.

What is the earliest date I can test to be approved for a credential?

If you are attending both Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland September sales, it is Aug. 24. If you are only attending the Keeneland September Sale, it is Aug. 31.

If you have an approved credential for Fasig-Tipton, it will also be honored at Keeneland. The first wave of testing on Aug. 24-25 is intended to create a window to allow anyone who tests positive on these days to isolate for 10 days and still be present at their consignment for Book 1 preview days.

Since the credential can be used at Fasig-Tipton or Keeneland, does it matter which organization I apply under?
Please apply with the organization that you will first enter within 10 days of your COVID-19 test.

What is the turnaround time for testing?

You can expect to receive results for tests taken at Keeneland electronically within 48 hours. Keeneland is providing testing prior to the sale to allow everyone to be tested before entry to the grounds to work the sale. Therefore, you must leave the grounds after your test until you receive a negative result and approved credential.

Are bloodstock agents considered buyers with regards to testing requirements?

Yes. Bloodstock agents will not be required to receive a negative COVID-19 test. The exception is if they are also working in the barn area as a consignor or other role, in which case a negative test is required.

What are the requirements for those who shortlist for agents or buyers?

Each of these individuals will need to request a credential, but a negative COVID-19 test will not be required as they will be considered buyers. Again, the exception is if they are also working in the barn area for a consignor or other role, in which case a negative test is required.

Will van drivers need to be tested?

No, a test is not required for van drivers. However, drivers will not be allowed to get out of their vehicle at the loading chutes and therefore all consignors will need to meet their horses at the receiving chute. After loading/unloading, all vans must leave the grounds immediately.

I’m not sure if I need to be tested. How can I tell?

As a rule of thumb, if your role is such that you will need to enter the barn area, shedrow or a stall, a negative COVID-19 test will be required. A reminder that buyers are not permitted to enter the barns this year and must stay outdoors in the walking rings.

Do I need to make an appointment for testing?

No appointment is needed.

Are deliveries allowed on the grounds?

Yes, you can receive deliveries from caterers and other vendors. They will not require a test or credential; however, you must meet them at the designated drop-off zones near Barn 49 and the Track Kitchen to receive your delivery.

Who can I contact if I need help with my credentialing process?

If you need assistance, please contact Please wait at least 48 hours after testing before reaching out on your credential status.

What if I don’t have a smart device or email/computer access?

Please contact with advance notice for guidance.

The post Keeneland Further Elaborates On COVID-19 Policies For September Yearling Sale appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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