When Will Horse Racing In The UK Or Ireland Return? The BHA and the HRI have announced the suspension of racing until at least the 19th of April in Ireland and the end of April in the UK. We now are hearing rumors of how they plan to return, but have we a lot of water to cross under the bridge.
The BHA announced at the weekend that they were looking into bring racing back behind closed doors in three regional hubs around the country. The idea is that you put everyone into isolation at the one spot and race there for a week. Then moving onto the next hub; possibly with different trainers and jockeys? That could also be an option.
Clearly this reduces movement of people and stays within government guidelines, however the situation must get better before this happens. Lockdown will have to be eased, unless the UK government backs the plans on its own merit. A problem would be doctors and medical staff, however the BHA say that they realise this is a huge issue and have sought retired doctors from the horse racing community and say they have those plans in place.
Trainers have already come out in support of the measure, but we are still a long way away from it happening. We will highly likely see racing return in Ireland before the UK. The Irish government reacted quicker than their UK counterparts and at the moment, it looks like lockdown will last longer in the UK.
Irish racing could take bits of the UK plan and a massive factor in Irish racing’s favour is the support of the Order Of Malta. Unlike in the UK where they rely on the NHS ambulance. The Order Of Malta are on standby for the Irish government, but unless they get called into action they are free to provide medical care for Irish racing. If the situation improves in Ireland, we could see racing behind closed doors sooner than the end of April with perhaps a new action plan involving some regional hubs.
At the moment of course, every remains unclear. The BHA appear to be working very hard behind the scenes to get racing underway on the 1st of May. However, their government acted late and we could easily see Irish racing return sooner.