Racing Victoria (RV) wishes to advise of changes to the biosecurity protocols in place in Victoria to allow for the safe continuation of racing and training during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The protocols, which were developed in accordance with all current Government directives, guidelines and advice, have served to protect the health of industry staff, participants and the wider community; maintain 25,000 full-time equivalent jobs; and ensure daily care and exercise can be afforded to all thoroughbred racehorses.
The protocols are continually reviewed based on Government directives, risk analysis, industry compliance, participant feedback and the broader community landscape.
Owner Attendance at Stables, Jump-Outs & Official Trials
Effective from 11:59pm on Thursday, 3 December 2020, owners are now permitted to attend the following:
- public and private training centres for the primary purpose of visiting their horse provided their attendance is not during trackwork and they only attend the stables of their licensed trainer; and
- jump-outs and official trials at which they have a horse engaged.
Owners are not permitted to attend during morning trackwork; communal training locations (such as training towers) or access the infield at public training centres.
Owners are advised that if they, or anyone they live with, is unwell and/or displaying any symptoms of COVID-19; and/or have been for a COVID test and are awaiting a result; and/or work with someone that is a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case; and/or have been in a COVID Hotspot, they must not attend a private or public training centre.
When visiting a stable, owners are required to wear a mask at all times when inside any barns or dwellings and when they are unable to socially distance outside. Owners are encouraged to regularly wash or sanitise their hands.
In accordance with their required COVID Safe Plans, trainers are requested to maintain an accurate visitors’ log detailing the names and times that owners have attended their stables. This will assist trainers to protect their operations and the industry in the event of a possible or confirmed COVID-19 case that requires contact tracing.
The host Club will provide a designated area for owners to watch their horse compete when attending jump-outs and official trials. This area may not be in the infield for public training centres and is likely to be in areas traditionally used for raceday viewing. Owners are to remain outside and are required to wear a face mask where they cannot socially distance.
Effective from 11:59pm on Thursday, 3 December 2020 and subject to any determination by the relevant Club, jump-outs are no longer restricted to ‘local horses’ only, being those prepared at the training centre or where the trainer has nominated the centre for their grass gallops.
This means that non-Victorian horses are also permitted to attend jump-outs, subject to any restriction imposed by the host Club.
Quotes attributable to RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson
“Following the easing of Government restrictions and the absence of COVID-19 within Victoria for an extended period, I’m pleased to confirm that we are now in a position where we can welcome back owners for stable visits, jump-outs and official trials.
“Owners have kept people in jobs across the state through their continued investment in racing throughout the pandemic and I would like to extend my sincere thanks for their patience, understanding and loyalty in what has been a difficult year.
“Under no circumstances does anyone wish to undo the great work achieved to date, so I encourage all owners and trainers to follow the necessary protocols to facilitate stable visits and ask owners to please stay at home if they, or anyone they live with, is feeling unwell.
“It has been great to see the resumption of spectator attendance at Victorian race meetings over the past week and we appreciate everyone’s understanding during this initial period with the cap on spectator numbers and the restrictions on movements around the racecourse.
“At this time, there is no change to the raceday protocols, however we are in continual discussions with the Government with regards to the number of permitted attendees and the raceday framework, including opportunities to safely enhance the raceday experience for owners through greater access to their horse and trainer.”