British Horse Racing is CANCELLED
The BHA have taken a drastic step to try prevent the outbreak of the pandemic that is Coronavirus. Today the BHA have said that all British Horse Racing is cancelled until at least May. This news come only hours after the sport was announced to be hosted behind closed doors. BHA had initially agreed that racecourses and staff would be able to continue British horse races but only if ran behind closed doors with no spectators. However, since the latest announcement from the Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying that all non-essential contact should be avoided, the BHA have quickly changed their decision and opted to cancel all British horse racing.
The latest updates from the outbreak of Covid-19 pulled the shutters down on any future action. Nick Rust, BHA chief executive, said “This is a national emergency the likes of which most of us have never seen before.”
“”We’re a sport that is proud of its connection to rural communities and to the local businesses that support our industry. But our first duty is to the health of the public, our customers and to racing industry participants and staff so we have decided to suspend racing following the government’s latest advice.”
The impact of Covid-19 was already being seen across the sport. Last week’s Cheltenham, although being allowed to go ahead, saw a lower than average attendance for each day. Hours before this announced was the announcement that the Randox Health Grand National meeting that was scheduled to go ahead next month had been cancelled. It is expected that many more high-profile meetings will be impacted too.
The BHA expressed the need to support the businesses that will be affected inside and outside of horseracing, especially with a lot depending on the income to survive.
Outside of racing, postponements and cancellations have been taking place across the world with some of the highest profile sports being impacted. Euro 2020 has been postponed, Six nations Rugby, Premier League Football and Formula 1 racing all postponed. All will continue whilst organisations and governments combine to contain the conronavirus pandemic.