Dubai: British horse racing has joined a growing list of major sports events being suspended or cancelled across the world due to the spreading Coronavirus, with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) suspending all racing activity in the country until the end of April.
The winter racing season had been continuing in the country behind closed doors, until the BHA’s action on Tuesday following guidelines and safety measures issued by he UK government.
Nick Rust, BHA chief executive, said in a statement, which was posted on the Racing Post website: “This is a national emergency the like of which most of us have never seen before.
“We’re a sport that is proud of its connection to rural communities and to the local businesses that support our industry. But our first duty is to the health of the public, our customers and to racing industry participants and staff so we have decided to suspend racing following the government’s latest advice.
“Racing is a family and I know we will pull together over the coming days, weeks and months and support each other. We need to do what we can to support businesses inside and outside racing and the many people whose livelihoods depend upon this £4 billion industry,” he added.
Meanwhile, there was also confirmation that the 2020 Kentucky Derby in America has been pushed back from its annual date in May to September 5 this year.
Earlier, this year’s Grand National meeting at Aintree was cancelled.