British Horseracing Authority (BHA) CEO Nick Rust has emphasised that ‘racing will not be beaten’ by the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in the widespread cancellation of race meetings across the UK.
Issuing a statement on the outbreak, senior executives from the BHA, Racecourse Association (RCA), National Trainers Federation (NTF) and the Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) have published the details of a new plan aimed at the‘financial response in the light of the suspension of racing’.
Nick Rust, the BHA Chief Executive who chairs the Industry Group, said: “The effort from across the sport at the moment is incredible. There is a determination that racing will not be beaten by this shutdown. The willingness to help is universal. We will do all we can to keep people informed as we progress.”
British racing’s industry plan for coronavirus has been divided into four categories which will address finance, people, medical and equine, with the strategy expected to be completed and agreed on Friday.
Emphasising that ‘all avenues of potential assistance are being explored’, the Industry Group has reiterated that ‘effort is already directed at making sure racing is ready to return at the earliest possible opportunity’.
The Chief Executive of Racing Welfare, Dawn Goodfellow, added: “We are acutely aware that the current situation will be resulting in immediate hardship for many people from a whole range of different roles across the industry. We are working hard to ensure that any available funds that the industry can provide are disbursed quickly, fairly and transparently to those in most need.”
Rob Hezel, the Chief Executive of the Racing Foundation, which has managed since 2012 the funds received by racing after the sale of the Tote, said: “We are working as fast as possible with senior racing executives to work out how best to use our resources to support the developing plan.
“We are also liaising with other funding bodies to increase the levels of support that can be made available and we are examining the pressures being faced by racing’s charities so we can help them wherever possible too.”