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British racing authorities have moved to assure participants efforts will be made to financially support them during the sport’s suspension.

The British Horseracing Authority has called racing off until the end of April because of the coronavirus pandemic.

BHA chief executive Nick Rust says the governing body will meet with government in the coming days.

“We haven’t got any definitive information at this stage, but the sport’s leadership that helped come together to make the decision, which the BHA board consulted, will be coming together in the coming days to make the point clear (to government) that as well as being a sport, we are an industry,” Rust told Sky Sports Racing.

“The government knows that. We have good support in government, they have been across the decisions we have been making.

“When everything is going right, we employ 17,000 people in racing and another 50,000 or so whose income derives mainly from the sport.”

In light of social distancing and the need for public services on racecourses, Rust felt there was no option but to suspend racing.

“We are taking the right action to keep people safe,” he said.

“We will make the point to government that many people rely on his industry for employment. It contributes, based on some surveys we’ve done, around PS4 billion ($A8 billion) to the economy.

“It generates that in employment and economic income, so we need the government to consider the scale of our industry and help support us through this period.

“There are Levy Board reserves that can be called upon, and other funding sources within the industry which we’ll need to examine, which can provide back-up so we can provide support where it is needed.

“We took the decision for the right reasons, for the public services, but we are acutely aware of the situation within our industry.”

 
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