Horse-racing cancelled as government announces new measures 2 months ago

Horse-racing cancelled as government announces new measures

The Irish government has cancelled all sporting events until April 19 at the earliest.

As the country enters the most treacherous part of its battle against the corona-virus, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has on Tuesday announced some new, stringent measures to ensure our dealing with this pandemic in the safest and most effective way possible.

"All sporting events are cancelled including those behind closed doors from midnight tonight," he said in an address to the nation, before going on to address a number of other issues.

As a result, Tuesday's horse racing meeting at Clonmel will be the last Irish race meeting until late next month at the earliest, with the government over-ruling the Horse Racing Ireland decision to continue behind closed doors.

It was last Wednesday when the HRI released a statement signalling their intention to continue racing with many hygienic measures taken and with the doors closed.

"This decision is motivated by the need to maintain employment and incomes for people working in the industry, and on the basis of being able to achieve and maintain all HSE advice and instructions," read their statement.

The HRI ensured that "strict protocols around social distancing and sanitisation" would be adhered to with oversees runners banned and owners prohibited from attending. For the last few days, jockeys have waited in their cars between races, they have spent minimum time in the weigh room but it isn't enough.

This is going to have a significant implication on the horse racing industry around Ireland with yards all forced to make cuts to their staff.