Racing Official: Compliance with COVID-19 Rules Has Been “Terrific”

TAREN POINT, New South Wales – Marc Van Gestel described how Racing New South Wales (NSW) and their counterparts in other Australian states had managed during the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. Racing in Australia, by and large, has been able to carry on mainly without interruption during the international health crisis.

Throughout this time, Van Gestel and other racing officials in Australia have been in continuous contact with other racing jurisdictions around the world. Together they have been working hard while neighbouring countries, like New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and several territories in Europe, did not have any choice but to halt racing for long periods due to the COVID-19 dilemma.

The chief steward of Racing NSW confirmed that his team and their equivalent in other states had enforced several stringent rules as the pandemic pummeled the world. In this manner, the rigid measures enabled racing to continue Australia-wide. The strict protocols include social distancing, racing without crowds, and minimising horse and jockey movement. The group of Van Gestel and their peers in other Australian states had required the cooperation of the whole racing sector to be successful, as per Australian horse racing information and news website Racenet.

Van Gestel pointed out that introducing strict rules could be worrisome. However, he said that nearly 100 per cent of their participants had obeyed the stewards’ directions. Although there had merely been one or two moments in which there had been a violation of the social distancing rules, the Racing NSW head steward relayed that everyone had been obedient. He mentioned these compliant people as the barrier attendants, jockeys, horse racing officials, racehorse trainers, stablehands, and clerks of the course.

Van Gestel expressed his feeling of satisfaction with the results of their enforcement of the rules safeguarding their people against the harmful impacts of COVID-19. Also, he remarked that his governing organisation would carry on by taking a cautious approach versus COVID-19 to make sure that racing does not stop in Australia.

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