Level 4 extended, no racing in meantime

With the Government’s decision to extend this country’s Alert Level 4 lockdown there will be no racing at all in New Zealand, for any of the codes.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement this afternoon (Friday, August 20) that the whole country will stay at Alert Level 4 till at least 11.59pm on Tuesday, August 24.

The decision follows news that there are now 31 cases, in Auckland and Wellington.

For harness racing the most immediate effect is the cancellation of Addington’s 17-race meeting scheduled for Sunday. It cannot go ahead under Alert Level 4.

The next scheduled harness racing meetings are at Waikato and Winton next Thursday (August 26). No decisions will be made about them, until the Government's update on the lockdown next Tuesday.

Under Alert Level 4, the government protocols are horses are able to have light exercise from an animal welfare point of view e.g. walking or jogging a couple of rounds of a track to stretch their legs, if they are usually boxed or unable to get out into a paddock to run around.

This is either at your own track or if you are based at a training centre whereby you train that horse at the centre each day of the week. This covers people living close to the training centre without direct access as well.

It is not business as usual and therefore you are not allowed to fast work or be jogging a horse for a longer period. If you travel to a track once or twice a week to fast work this is not permitted.

Government protocols, including wearing face masks, social distancing and regular hand sanitising, must be followed to ensure we are able to continue to race at other Alert Levels when restrictions are lifted.

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