ARC have announced that all their horseracing and greyhound racing meetings will take place behind closed doors from Tuesday onwards.
Their statement reads:
Following this afternoon’s announcement by the British Horseracing Authority (“BHA”), Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) can confirm that all racing, both horse and greyhound, at its sites will take place behind closed doors from tomorrow (Tuesday 17 March) until the end of March. It is, unfortunately, likely that this period will be extended.
In order to best protect employees and the limited attendance of essential personnel on site, no members of the public will be granted admittance to any upcoming fixtures. Only the minimum levels of essential racecourse and BHA officials, jockeys, one trainer’s representative and an appropriate number of racing staff per horse will be allowed admittance. Similarly, at all ARC greyhound stadia, only essential stadium staff, GBGB officials, trainers and necessary kennel hands will be allowed admittance to fixtures during this period.
We are afraid that we cannot allow racehorse and greyhound owners, for this period, to be admitted on site.
The very minimum crew required to maintain broadcast facilities will be permitted on site at each fixture and the Press Association will undertake the established process to ensure the continued supply of raceday data.
A number of additional steps to maintain the health and safety of the very minimal numbers attending each site will be taken, and each site will continue to encourage all those in attendance to follow Government and NHS advice regarding their own personal health.
ARC can confirm that prize money levels across all horseracing fixtures will be maintained for the next seven days, as discussions continue with the Horseracing Levy Board (“HBLB”) and our bookmaker partners with regards funding arrangements.
ARC Chief Executive Martin Cruddace said, “We are in unprecedented times, and we have a duty of care to our staff and those for whom there is a need to attend race meetings, whether racehorses or greyhounds. Our measures are comprehensive and do not attract any appreciable increase in risk.”
“As we move into the spring and summer months, and racecourses rely much more heavily on attendance income, it is a near certainty that this period will have a drastic impact on the viability of a large number of fixtures. It is inevitable that we will have to work closely with, and rely upon, the support of our valued partners at the Levy Board and the betting industry to maintain current fixture levels.”
“It will be an incredible achievement if British horse and greyhound racing, upon which any number of ecosystems rely and which support thousands of jobs, can work together through this unprecedented time to ensure that we still have a strong and vibrant industry at the end of it”