The British Horseracing Authority has revealed that it is expecting the return of owners to racecourses in England and Scotland on Monday, March 29.
During the current national lockdown, racing has continued behind closed doors without owners in attendance. With restrictions set to be eased as the government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown begins, two owners per horse will be allowed on track, much as they were in July 2020.
With strict infection control measures in place to reduce the transmission of coronavirus, owners will be asked to follow the BHA’s Covid-19 requirements and the specific owner protocols.
A statement from the BHA said: “British racing is enormously grateful to owners for their patience, understanding and unwavering support. Your return to the racecourse will mark a significant step in the move to normality – and will be welcomed by the entire industry.
“Unless agreed otherwise with local authorities, from March 29 to April 12, access to the racecourse will be limited to a maximum of two owners per horse, as was the case initially when owners returned in July 2020.
“Racecourses are not able to provide hospitality at this stage, due to government restrictions but light refreshments will be available and there will be no time limit on how long owners are able to remain on course.
“We aim to increase access to a maximum of six owners per horse from April 12, following the further easing in government restrictions. At this point, racecourses will also be permitted to re-introduce outdoor hospitality.
“Specific arrangements remain subject not only to government guidance, but also local authority decision-making and therefore conditions may vary according to racecourse area. Racecourse officials are currently liaising with their local authorities and will contact owners directly ahead of each fixture with further details of any local requirements.
“Racecourses in Wales are awaiting guidance on the return of owners, so owners should check with the racecourse in question as to the current arrangements.”