Woodbine Entertainment continues to battle the lockdown restriction in the Ontario province. Yesterday on April 29, 2021, the horse racing leader has announced that training operations will be relaunched at its Woodbine Mohawk Park at the beginning of May. Horse trainers and jockeys will be allowed to the property but under mandatory health and safety protocols.
The current stay-at-home order in Ontario has had a rather negative reaction among the horse racing industry. CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Jim Lawson stated that despite the rather brief the new lockdown restrictions might have a catastrophic effect on the long-term wellbeing of the live harness sport. However, live races are nearing their return after the following announcement.
Training Can Resume
The lockdown order is set to expire on May 20, 2021, however, Woodbine Entertainment has most recently informed that its Ontario property of Woodbine Mohawk Park will partially return to operations. The racing track will be renewing its training exercises a week from now on May 6. But is worth mentioning that the property will function under strict health and safety measures.
Additionally, training will also be performed under a more specific schedule in order to prevent the spread of the virus. The horse racing property will be open for training five days a week from Tuesday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each training will be further separated into three sessions with a 50 horse limit each.
In order for trainers to take part in the soon-to-be-renewed training exercises, they must sign-up in advance. Also, trainers will be allowed a maximum of 10 horses per day. The daily training is divided into three segments. The first session starts at 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., then the second one starts at 9:45 a.m. and finishes at 12:15 p.m. And the last one is set to start at 12:30 p.m. and conclude at 2 p.m.
Registrations for the upcoming training session on May 6, May 7, and May 8, will begin this Saturday on May 1, at 1 p.m. Sign-up links are provided on the track’s official website. And regarding the health and safety protocols, all participants must wear protective face masks. Only trainers and licensed staff members will be allowed to enter the properties and must undergo a screening form before arriving.
Fighting for the Industry
Mr. Lawson has been majorly frustrated over the current situation of the horse racing industry since races have been suspended while other sports in the province are allowed to resume. The CEO has urged the local government the reconsider its decision as the province’s live harness tracks have had an immaculate record of keeping the dangerous virus at bay.
Previously, Mr. Lawson has sent an official letter of request to the mayor of Milton Gordon Krantz. In the letter, the leader of the horse racing regulator has stated that the industry has been unfairly treated by the new lockdown protocols. And if the government does not reconsider, this may lead to some serious damages to the harness sport in the future.
Source: “Training to resume May 6 at Woodbine Mohawk Park”, Woodbine Entertainment, April 29, 2021
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