Woodbine Entertainment is paving the way for live horse racing in the province of Ontario and this gradual process starts this Wednesday. May 13 is about to witness some changes directly affecting staff members taking care of the racehorses at the backstretch of Woodbine Racetrack. Horse breezing would once again be allowed to jockeys, but they should mind the social distancing factor too.
Live racing could soon be a reality in Ontario, but the preparation process should commence in a timely manner, to ensure that the summer months could witness live races. They could happen without spectators, to protect individuals from larger crowds and congregations and meet the recommendations of health experts. This week brought a milestone of Woodbine Entertainment’s development.
Live Racing Returns
The horse racing leader of the province made it clear that May 13 is going to see jockeys return to breezing their horses at Woodbine Racetrack. The training at a moderate speed would make it easier for the racehorses to prepare for the upcoming races. Jockeys would not have access to the barns, for the time being, keeping the contact with the horse to the shedrow only.
It should also be taken into account that jockeys should avoid contact with grooms and trainers. Horse owners remain without access to their horses, at least until further notice by the provincial government. All measures are being implemented eyeing health protection of horse people. The racetrack would also make it possible for gate schooling to take place.
This is a critical part of the thoroughbred training. All individuals across the racetrack should be wearing their protective masks. There are more than 1,100 racehorses currently preparing for the live events part of Woodbine Racetrack’s schedule. Chief Executive Officer Jim Lawson recently made it clear that live racing could return in June of July without spectators. Mid-May the first condition book regarding this season is about to be issued.
Horse People Protection
This means that the schedule for races over the first weeks of the live racing would be issued very soon and horse people and fans are eager to learn more about it. Trainers would also have the chance to train the horses according to it and be prepared for the start of live horse racing without spectators. It could be recalled that April 18 was supposed to see the start of live racing at Woodbine Racetrack.
A physician from the Osler Health Network has been helping Woodbine Entertainment with the process, providing essential advice about the pace of reopening and what’s best for the horse people working every day. Every individual accessing the backstretch would still be screened and have their temperature checked, a practice that has been in progress over the past few weeks.
Moreover, the number of barns used has been established at 33, sprinkled across 200 acres, to promote social distancing among the workers taking care of the racehorses. The area has also been sanitized frequently, a task further fortified by the special stations promoting good hygiene and disinfection.