Press release - SA horseracing forms special task team

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1 week 2 days ago #783954 by Bob Brogan
MEDIA RELEASE
SUBJECT: SA horseracing forms special task team
DATE: Tuesday 24 March 2020
RELEASED ON BEHALF OF: Gold Circle, Kenilworth Racing, Phumelela Gaming, the Racing Association and the National Horseracing Authority

Leaders of the South African horseracing industry met this morning in the wake of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s nationwide lockdown announcement last night and have formed a special task team to navigate the sport through the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
The task team comprises representatives from Phumelela Gaming, Gold Circle, Kenilworth Racing, the Racing Association and the National Horseracing Authority (NHA), which is charged with regulating the industry.
Racing has been taking place behind closed doors since last week and in line with the President’s ruling last night, the task team has confirmed that the race meeting at the Vaal this Thursday 26 March will be the last until further notice.
Industry betting shops, including TAB, Betting World, TABgold and Track & Ball stores, will be closed down tonight and tomorrow, and only online and telephone betting will be available from Thursday.
It is obviously critical that training centres nationally are able to operate during the lockdown and the NHA has been tasked with urgently seeking confirmation from Government that key individuals like track staff, trainers, jockeys, grooms, feed merchants, farriers and veterinary surgeons will be able to access training centres without being prevented therefrom.
In addition, the task team intends to meet soonest with the highest levels of Government to seek assistance in putting South African horseracing back onto a viable financial footing and thus protecting the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people employed in the industry.
Changes in provincial government legislation and other well-publicised issues have destroyed the industry’s funding model and the virus-enforced lockdown has now put the future of the entire sport at risk.
A spokesperson for the task team said every endeavour would be made to resume racing when the current lockdown ends on 17 April, but that any such resumption would obviously take place behind closed doors and conform to any restrictions and requirements laid down by Government.
If racing does resume then, it is planned to hold a major raceday at Turffontein on Saturday 18 April, when the programme will comprise the best feature races programmed during the lockdown period, as well as the Empress Club Stakes already scheduled for that day.
In the Western Cape the Klawervlei Farm Sales Race programmed for 28 March at Durbanville will also need to be rescheduled. In addition consideration will be given to rescheduling Listed races not run in the Eastern Cape during the lockdown.
Unavoidably as a result of the loss in revenue arising from both soccer and horseracing closing down virtually globally to retard the spread of COVID-19, prize money for minor races will in all likelihood have to be reduced to keep the industry afloat.
Any such reductions will only be done after full consultation with the Racing Association, which represents the majority of racehorse owners in South Africa.
Should racing not be able to restart at the end of the current lockdown period and Champions Day, one of the big four racedays on the national calendar, cannot take place as scheduled on 2 May, it is likely that all feature races not run as a result of the lockdown will be cancelled for this year.
The task team will convene twice weekly, or as required, for the foreseeable future in order to constantly reassess the situation and to adjust plans as required.
“These are tough times for South African horseracing and the country as a whole. But racing has survived tough times before by working together and will do so again,” said the spokesperson for the task team.

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1 week 2 days ago #783957 by Bob Brogan
Has this put the smaller centres at risk?

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1 week 1 day ago #783990 by Dave Scott
I understand many have been working very hard behind the scenes to do everything possible to keep the wheels in motion.

IMO with the virus issue, its one hell of a task and I am sure we wish them all the best.

Again as per the saviours of racing, to my understanding no minutes were ever issued?

We should ALL be working together during these difficult times and the more transparency the better.

All the best

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1 week 1 day ago #783992 by Dave Scott
Trainers, jockeys and racing staff are among those who stand to be principally affected by the six-week shutdown of racing in Britain until the end of April.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Monday confirmed the Coronavirus Business Loan scheme among other financial initiatives and racing's key member bodies continue to liaise to understand how various measures can be used to help provide support across the sport.

The government is helping companies by promising to pay 80 per cent of salaries – up to £2,500 a month – for designated 'furloughed employees' in an effort to avoid job losses and details have been outlined by the National Association of Racing Staff.

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1 week 1 day ago #783998 by Bob Brogan

Dave Scott wrote: Trainers, jockeys and racing staff are among those who stand to be principally affected by the six-week shutdown of racing in Britain until the end of April.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Monday confirmed the Coronavirus Business Loan scheme among other financial initiatives and racing's key member bodies continue to liaise to understand how various measures can be used to help provide support across the sport.

The government is helping companies by promising to pay 80 per cent of salaries – up to £2,500 a month – for designated 'furloughed employees' in an effort to avoid job losses and details have been outlined by the National Association of Racing Staff.


5 million self employed in U.K. including Jockeys get nothing

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