Questions about racing behind closed doors?
Find the answers here.
Where you can watch the racing will depend on the fixture. For the latest information, keep an eye on our Where Can I Watch page.
The industry has worked closely with UK and local authorities to ensure it has comprehensive health and safety protocols in place to stage fixtures behind closed doors. These include extensive measures around social distancing, health checks and protective equipment, and operating with the minimum possible number of people on site.
Our Racing Behind Closed Doors page explains all the procedures and practices we are undertaking to make sure racing behind closed doors is safe for all those involved.
We are a non-contact sport taking place outdoors where the risk of virus transmissions are recognised to be lower. Most of those due to attend racing fixtures live in rural areas where incidence of coronavirus is lower. We have the right experience of managing complex health and safety risks, controlling infectious diseases in horses, and keeping jockeys safe in 10,000 races a year.
Additionally, other sports have had to stop their athletes from training, meaning there is a period of time where they have to return to match fitness before their sport can resume. Racehorses have remained in training for the entire period of lockdown, with staff subject to social distancing, and as such racing can return more quickly now approval has been given.
Initially, attendance was extremely limited and only for those who have passed the mandatory health screening and who are absolutely required to run a fixture:
• BHA officials and staff (as required to service the race meeting, as per BHA guidance)
• Essential racecourse staff and contractors (as required to service the race meeting, as per RCA guidance)
• Medical/ambulance personnel (as required to service the race meeting)
• Valets working at the race meeting (as per RCA guidance)
• Racecourse Vets
• Farriers (as required to service the race meeting)
• RaceTech staff (as required to provide core broadcast and integrity services. This will include, for example, one race commentator)
• Technical staff (as required to service the race meeting, as per RCA guidance)
• One Trainer (or their representative) per yard
• One senior groom per yard represented
• Stable staff of horses running in the race meeting (maximum of one groom per runner)
• Commercial horsebox drivers/transporters, where applicable
• Jockeys riding in the race meeting
• One broadcaster/presenter
• Two written media journalists (One Press Association, one Racing Post accredited journalists)
• Two photographers (one racecourse photographer, one racing photographer)
From 4 July, a limited number of racehorse owners were able to attend in a safe and risk-managed way, with increased numbers of owners and longer durations available from 28 July.
Due to the ongoing public health situation The British Horseracing Authority cancelled all racedays for June, July and August and put in place a new set of fixtures as part of its plan to restart racing behind closed doors.
You can see these fixtures, which will take place without crowds present, on their website here.
Racing behind closed doors will be in secure, controlled locations. Those attending will be required to travel directly to and from the fixtures, with the vast majority able to do this via car and without using public transport. Guidance is also to minimize stopping en route to or from the fixture unless absolutely necessary, such as to get fuel.
Each of the racecourses selected for behind closed doors racing is required to have a strictly enforced and secure site, with only a small number of dedicated exit and entry points and extra security in place to ensure the site as a whole remains secure.
You will not be able to enter without being on a pre-approved list of attendees and providing identification on arrival.
Private medical services have been procured wherever possible to ensure that only in the most extreme circumstances will the use of NHS resources be required. Further measures, such as focus on Flat racing and the initial limiting of field sizes to 12 as well as individual analysis of race types have been undertaken to ensure that we do as much as we can to limit the risk of injury to participants and thus the need to use valuable NHS resources.
Jump racing resumed from 1st July.