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Owners' to return to the track from Tuesday

Racing Victoria (RV) has announced that the return of owners to Victorian race meetings will be facilitated under strict COVID safe protocols from tomorrow – Tuesday, 23 June – at Ballarat.

Owner attendance will be underpinned by the following essential protocols:

  • A time limit on attendance at the race meeting which will require owners to depart the racecourse following the race in which their final runner is engaged. Permitted arrival times will be managed on a per meeting basis subject to Club facilities and plans;
  • A maximum of 30 owners per race with pre-registration required and compulsory provision of details on the day for contact tracing. In satisfying the necessary protocols, Clubs may not be able to welcome the maximum number of owners per race;
  • Owners to be managed by Clubs in accordance with Victoria’s social gathering guidelines with adherence to all social distancing directives and density requirements;
  • Up to 20 owners will be permitted for each indoor space at a racecourse provided they are seated in accordance with hospitality guidelines;
  • Up to 10 owners can gather in a group outdoors at a racecourse provided they remain separate from other groups; and
  • The segregation of owners from racing participants meaning that access to the mounting yard and stabling area by owners is prohibited and no crossover will be permitted between the two halves of the racecourse.

RV and Country Racing Victoria (CRV) are now working with each Club to ensure they have the appropriate protocols in place to allow owners the opportunity to see their horse compete.

RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, said: “Owners are essential to our sport. They fund the training, care and welfare of our horses and have kept people in jobs right across Victoria with their ongoing commitment to racing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are delighted that we now have a framework that allows us to start welcoming owners back to race meetings when their horse is engaged.

“The circumstances may differ slightly from one track to another, but the fundamentals will be the same around attending to watch your horse race and then leaving thereafter, whilst adhering to all social gathering restrictions.

“This pandemic provides an ongoing threat to the health of Victorians and the safe continuation of racing so it was incumbent on us to ensure that the protocols implemented protect the health of all attendees and ensure we don’t compromise the safe continuation of Victorian racing.”

Owners already registered to attend at Ballarat tomorrow will be permitted to do so. Owners with runners entered at Sandown on Wednesday, 24 June will be sent an email with instructions on how to register this evening. For meetings from Thursday, 25 June onwards information will be accessible via their acceptance email from RV and the Club’s website.