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Race Attendance Restrictions

The announcement came this week that racing will continue to go ahead, albeit, behind closed doors without on-course spectators, in light of current risks posed by COVID-19.

While this came as disappointing news for owners with runners engaged at upcoming barrier trials and races in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria this week, we are also thankful that every effort is being made to sustain thoroughbred racing at this point in time.

Here is the media statement released by Racing NSW on Monday 16 March, regarding the latest public restrictions:

Racing NSW refers to the restrictions imposed by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments in respect of public gatherings of over 500 people.

Restrictions on public attendees

Even though the attendees at some NSW Country thoroughbred race meetings, barrier trials and trackwork may be less than 500 persons, Racing NSW has determined that a uniform approach should be implemented in respect of all thoroughbred race meetings, barrier trials and trackwork (including access to licensed training stables) in New South Wales.

Accordingly, thoroughbred race meetings, barrier trials and trackwork (including access to licensed training stables) in New South Wales will not be open to the public (including owners), effective immediately and until further notice.

Attendance will only be provided to essential personnel, which on raceday is restricted to the following:

  • Racing NSW Stewards and Veterinarians

  • Trainers, Jockeys and Stablehands with a runner at the race meeting

  • Barrier Attendants, Starters and essential Track Staff

  • Clerks of the Course

  • Judges and Sectional Timing Teams

  • Weighing Room Staff and Jockeys Attendants

  • Raceday Event Staff and security including horse stalls, mounting yards and float car park

  • Club Doctor and Ambulance Services

  • Farriers and other essential service providers approved by Racing NSW and the Race Club

  • Broadcast services including Race Caller

  • Restricted Core Racing Media as approved by Racing NSW and the Race Club

  • Restricted operational Race Club staff and management

No on-course wagering facilities will be available and essential personnel will be required to leave the racecourse after their horses have run.

Access will not be permitted to any essential personnel that:

  • Is suffering from coronavirus symptoms or is otherwise unwell;

  • Has been to a country considered at higher risk of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, currently mainland China, Iran, Italy and South Korea;

  • Is subject to self-isolation requirements imposed by the Government; or

  • Has been in close contact with a person suspected or confirmed to have coronavirus.

Further, if any essential personnel is in a high-risk group such as older people or people with underlying illnesses that make them more vulnerable to respiratory disease, including those with diabetes, chronic lung disease, kidney failure and people with suppressed immune systems, that person should not attend race meetings, barrier trials or trackwork (including accessing licensed training stables).

Enhanced hygiene measures will also be implemented throughout racecourses and Racing NSW Industry Notice also sets out important matters.

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