Musselburgh resumes racing behind closed doors
No crowds for forthcoming meetings (pic: Terry Murden)
Musselburgh Racecourse hopes to resume racing for the first time since February with back-to-back meetings behind-closed-doors on Tuesday 30 June and Wednesday 1 July.
The East Lothian course has been allocated five provisional fixtures from 30 June to August by racing’s governing body the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). The other Musselburgh fixtures are on Friday 10 July, Thursday 30 July (evening) and Wednesday 26 August.
A total of 24 meetings in June, July and August will be staged at Scottish racecourses subject to a range of factors, particularly public health and the approval of the Scottish Government.
The BHA has released protocols for racing behind closed doors, which includes specific guidance for the racing industry to help safeguard the health of employees and participants in a controlled and managed return to racing. The protocols include detailed information for the safe movement of horses, jockeys, racing staff and their equipment.
Musselburgh earlier confirmed its Stobo Castle Ladies Day fixture next month and its six scheduled Flat fixtures in July and August had been cancelled and full refunds will be issued to customers who have purchased tickets.
General manager, Bill Farnsworth, said: “We are planning to resume racing again at Musselburgh on Tuesday 30 June and Wednesday 1 July by staging controlled racedays, which will be without spectators.
“We have adapted our operational procedures to ensure these behind-closed-doors meetings meet the highest health and safety and bio-security standards.”
Delly Innes of Scottish Racing, which represents Scotland’s five racecourses, said: “The public can have confidence in our ability to race behind closed doors as safely as possible when the government allows more industries back to work.
“As a highly regulated industry we have considerable experience of keeping any potential health and safety risks to an absolute minimum.
“We are fully prepared to stage race meetings in a strictly controlled environment which fully comply with all the requirements of governmental and racing industry bodies, once they decide the time is right to resume racing.”
Racegoers who have purchased tickets for Musselburgh’s July and August meetings will be contacted shortly to arrange refunds while customers who purchased tickets in person or by telephone are asked to contact the course to arrange a refund.