COVID-19: Seasonal opener at Salisbury Racecourse cancelled

Salisbury Racecourse

Published at 2:17pm 17th March 2020. (Updated at 11:50am 18th March 2020)

3 minute read

The British Horseracing Authority has confirmed that ALL racing in Britain will be suspended from tomorrow until April 30th.

Salisbury Racecourse was due to hold its popular seasonal opener on the 26th of April.

The BHA said it took the decision to protect essential emergency services and the health and welfare of staff working in the racing industry.

Initially it had been agreed racing could take place behind closed doors but following fresh advice from the government about avoiding social gatherings a stronger line of action has been taken.

BHA chief executive Nick Rust said:

"This is a national emergency the like of which most of us have never seen before.

"We're a sport that is proud of its connection to rural communities and to the local businesses that support our industry. But our first duty is to the health of the public, our customers and to racing industry participants and staff so we have decided to suspend racing following the government's latest advice.

The British Horseracing Authority said the decision will be kept under "constant review."

Salisbury Racecourse Stand pic 2011
Salisbury's traditional opener to the 2020 flat season is OFF.

Salisbury is due to host 16 meetings during this year's flat season.

Clerk of the course at Salisbury Racecourse Jeremy Martin told Spire FM they're not sure what will happen to those future fixtures.

"As a consequence of the British Horseracing Authority's decision to suspend racing until at least the end of April, it means that Salisbury's opening fixture on Sunday 26th April will not take place.  It is too early to speculate about remaining race meetings at this current time, the next of which is scheduled for Sunday 3rd May".



The Point to Point Authority has also issued a formal statement to confirm the season is closed which affects all courses including Larkhill and Barbury Castle.

"This was a very difficult decision to make recognising that many people's livelihoods are involved. However, the Prime Minister's words last night made clear that everyone should minimise social contact and non-essential travel. Furthermore, our sport creates some medical burden, both on the course and potentially at the hospitals, where it would be unwelcome under the current circumstances."

Larkhill point to point ( Facebook)
Larkhill is Britain's busiest point-to-point course.
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