BHA adds further ‘preparatory steps’ for June reopening

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has confirmed that from 1 June, it will be compulsory for all trainers to declare runners 72 hours prior to the race.

The announcement comes as the racing body ramps up its plans for a 1 June resumption that is in line with the UK Government’s provisional timetable for the return of sport behind closed doors.

By 22 May, the BHA plans to publish its fixture list and race programme for the period 9-30 June, with the exact timetable due to be based on the ‘best-case scenario planning for resumption on 1 June’.

The date for resumption will be subject to an assessment by public health officials and will also be conditional on the UK meeting the government’s five tests for easing lockdown measures. Until these tests are met, current restrictions will remain in place.

The BHA has earmarked 26 May as the date it will publish British Racing’s protocols for racing behind closed doors. The guidance will focus upon safeguarding the health of employees and participants as the sport returns without spectators. 

Similar to the guidance issued by Westminster last week, the Welsh Government has recently published its roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions, with a ‘traffic light’ guide that includes team, individual and non-contact sports and behind closed doors events in the ‘amber’ phase. 

The Scottish Government is due to unveil its plans on Thursday. Neither government has yet outlined a specific timeline for the return of sport behind closed doors; therefore, it is possible that circumstances and timescales may differ across the UK.

Racing industry leaders and the BHA Public Affairs Team have reiterated that they remain in direct contact with the Sport Ministers in Scotland and Wales around planning for a ‘risk-managed resumption of racing’ as soon as possible.

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