Due to the COVID-19 pandemic a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the forthcoming harness racing season in Great Britain.

Currently the BHA has suspended all thoroughbred racing until the end of April, however their Irish counterparts are continuing behind closed doors along with many harness racing jurisdictions around the globe.

In this country the behind closed doors model is not an option without off course bookmaker support, with this in mind we are pleased to report major interest from the bookmaking industry in taking racing form York and Tir Prince as soon as possible.
Subject to the two tracks in question agreeing to contractual terms, and the present state of emergency existing, we envisage the 2020 Season will commence in May behind closed doors with a number of government led restrictions in place, this of course is subject to us not being in a state of complete lock down.
These meetings will probably consist of six races with preferably ten horses per race during weekend slots.

We may need to suspend the current fixture list until such time public events are given the all clear, and with the constantly changing landscape we ask for everyone to join forces in attempt to salvage the racing year, this will mean cooperation between tracks/promoters as we possibly look to the rescheduling of fixtures and major races.
We will ask tracks to perhaps change dates for the benefit of the sport, encouraging an extension to the season and the drawing up of contingency plans.

At this stage the BHRC invite licence holders to get in touch with any views regarding the current situation.

So, in short, contracts permitting we, with everybody’s cooperation, will start racing in May, but we may need to make alterations to the fixture list.
Presently, we see no reason why work-out and qualifying sessions cannot be staged, providing the necessary regulations are adhered to.

Your cooperation and understanding is appreciated.

Darren Owen
BHRC Chairman