Racing Victoria (RV) wishes to advise of the following update on arrangements for Victorian racing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This update takes into account today’s declaration by the Victorian Government of a State of Emergency for a period of four weeks ending at midnight on 13 April 2020.
Key RV announcements are:
- All professional country and metropolitan race meetings from Tuesday, 17 March until at least Monday, 13 April will proceed as programmed with only the following people permitted to attend:
- Licensed jockeys engaged to compete at the meeting
- Licensed trainers with runners engaged at the meeting
- Registered stable staff of trainers with runners engaged at the meeting with trainers asked to minimise the number of staff in attendance
- Raceday officials and staff
- Broadcasters (TRP, Racing.com, Channel 7)
- Limited accredited media (only as approved by RV)
- Commencing tomorrow, only licensed trainers, registered stablehands, licensed jockeys, RV officials, club staff and essential personnel (vets, farriers, medical staff) will be permitted to attend trackwork and/or training centres within Victoria, including trials and jump-outs. This will continue until at least 13 April.
- Commencing with tomorrow’s race meeting at Cranbourne, all permitted attendees at a Victorian race meeting will be subject to temperature checks by medical staff at the entrance to the racecourse. Those displaying a temperature of 37.6 or above will not be permitted to enter and/or compete.
- The remaining five picnic race meetings for the 2019-20 racing season have been abandoned. They are as follows:
- Alexandra – Saturday, 21 March
- Healesville – Saturday, 28 March
- Mansfield – Saturday, 4 April
- Balnarring – Saturday, 11 April
- Swifts Creek – Sunday, 12 April
- RV and Country Racing Victoria (CRV) will distribute the allocated prizemoney for these abandoned picnic meetings among the affected clubs and picnic racing participants to assist in the absence of earning opportunities.
- Effective today until at least 13 April, interstate jockeys will only be permitted to compete within Victoria if they travel to the state by private vehicle or charter flight.
- Effective today until at least 13 April, Victorian jockeys who ride at an interstate race meeting will only be permitted to compete within Victoria if they have travelled to and from the interstate race meeting by private vehicle and/or charter flight.
- RV’s office will be closed to visitors from 17 to 31 March with staff working remotely where possible. All phone lines and emails will continue to be monitored with regular updates on www.racingvictoria.net.au. Any queries from participants or customers are to be directed to (03) 9258 4258 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- RV’s Apprentice Jockey Training Program has placed classes at RV on hold until at least the end of March with coaching to take place remotely.
RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson said: “These are unprecedented circumstances that required unprecedented actions if we are to continue racing and supporting the 25,000 full-time jobs that Victorian racing underpins.
“We have two clear priorities at this time; to protect the health and wellbeing of our industry stakeholders and indeed the wider community, and to provide an appropriate framework under which racing can continue for the many people whose livelihoods depend on it.
“In light of the declaration of a State of Emergency within Victoria, we can now confirm that no crowds will be permitted at our race meetings for at least the next four weeks.
“A decision on our meetings after 13 April will be made in the coming weeks as the situation evolves, and more timely information is available from the Government and health authorities.
“We have implemented strict measures for those attending race meetings and I again ask that any permitted attendee who is feeling unwell not attend and seek medical advice where appropriate. This same approach should apply for those attending trackwork also.
“Today’s announcement that the remaining five meetings of the picnic racing season will be abandoned was made in consultation with CRV and the clubs on the basis that the meetings are predominantly events staged for local communities and customer engagement.
“Together with CRV we have committed to work with the affected picnic racing clubs and participants on the distribution of the prizemoney for these five meetings among them in recognition of their lost earnings.
“In making today’s announcement, I want to thank all within the industry, in particular our owners, for their cooperation and understanding in this unique and challenging time. It is important that the racing community works together so we can continue racing for the benefit of all.”
Further, industry stakeholders are being encouraged to maintain a good level of hygiene at all times, including washing and sanitising their hands and coughing/sneezing into their elbows.
They are also being asked to ensure they adhere with Government directions requiring self-isolation should they return to Victoria from overseas and/or have a close contact that has tested positive to COVID-19.
RV will be providing updates on COVID-19 plans and management direct to licensed and registered participants over the next 24 hours and will continue to provide updates more broadly as and when required.