British trainers are being advised to continue exercising their horses and adhere strictly to social-distancing requirements, following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of new measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Johnson said the vast majority of the public must stay at home until further notice.
A list of key workers who are exempt has been published and indications are that stable staff fall into the bracket of those still allowed to travel to their place of employment.
The National Trainers Federation chief executive Rupert Arnold issued swift advice to members on the organisation’s website about the implications understood for racing yards and their staff.
“Within minutes of the prime minister’s announcement of strict rules on the movement of people, trainers began asking us whether horses could be exercised tomorrow,” he said.
“We have already sent a message to the industry Covid Group pointing out that in all European racing jurisdictions where severe restrictions on movement have already been implemented, racehorses are continuing to be exercised.
“Our advice to you is therefore to continue getting horses out on the gallops and other exercise areas, while observing the distancing rules with the utmost discipline.”
The NTF guidance warns that trainers should take responsibility to stress to employees the strict arrangements under which they must work during the ongoing pandemic.
“Tell your staff that failure to observe the rules is a disciplinary offence,” it said.
“We are seeking confirmation that feed, bedding and other essential supplies and services such as vet, farrier and muck removal can continue.”