On account of the Authorities of Ontario’s announcement on Friday that Toronto can be getting into the Province’s gray “Lockdown” part of coronavirus-related restrictions, Woodbine Leisure introduced that Sunday, Nov. 22, would be the final day in 2020 of Thoroughbred racing within the Province.
“We now have been, and proceed to be, extraordinarily supportive of the Authorities’s efforts to cut back the unfold of COVID-19 all through our Province and admire the numerous tough selections they need to make,” mentioned Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Leisure. “We now have approached the Authorities to elucidate the impacts this determination could have on our enterprise and the horse racing business in Ontario. With a greater understanding of our operations and primarily based on our security report in working dwell racing at our racetracks, we hope that the Authorities will take into account these impacts sooner or later and help us in managing the possibly devastating affect to horsepeople and animal welfare this early shutdown will trigger.”
The cancelled race playing cards (12) at Woodbine Racetrack represented a big alternative for horsepeople to earn purse cash that’s essential for his or her livelihoods and the welfare of their horses as they enter the low season for Thoroughbred racing in Ontario.
“Our group’s sole mandate is to maintain the horse racing business that helps the livelihoods of 20,000 households all through the Province,” talked about Lawson. “Woodbine Leisure is the engine of that business and this early shutdown additional impacts our enterprise.”
Woodbine Leisure has roughly 1,300 staff both quickly or completely laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This shutdown of racing additionally negatively impacts the roughly 2,000 horsepeople on the Woodbine backstretch, placing a lot of them out of labor.
The current “Lockdown” restrictions prohibit dwell racing though do permit for coaching to proceed; nonetheless it’s anticipated that coaching can be wound down this week.
“Since we began racing at Woodbine and Mohawk Park in early June, we’ve demonstrated that racing with out spectators poses no larger well being threat to contributors than coaching,” mentioned Lawson. “We now have been a frontrunner in well being and security because the starting of the pandemic and we’re extraordinarily pleased with our report and the cooperation of our racing contributors in sustaining secure racing environments.”
Woodbine Leisure will present additional updates on Monday concerning the closure of the season at Woodbine Racetrack.
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