French Horse Racing To Return This Month On ‘Conditional Bases’

French horseracing will be permitted to return this May, working on a ‘conditional basis’ schedule and monitoring of meetings approved by the French Ministry of Agriculture.

Last week, France Galop president Edouard de Rothschild and LeTrot counterpart Jean-Pierre Barjon introduced the action plan for French racing to resume fixtures behind closed doors on the 11th of May.

Underlining that races should take place under the ‘strictest sanitary conditions,’ Rothschild and Barjon provided French Agricultural Minister Didier Guillaume with a slimmed-down racing plan.

The limited programme by France Galop will allow permitted regional racetracks to host only three races a day. Meanwhile, LeTrot will require only two members per horse to be present at approved racecourses while overseeing the race operations.

Maintaining strict sanitary discipline, France Galop will implement that during the summer schedule only French-trained studs will be permitted to compete.

Minister Guillaume backed France Galop and LeTrot’s action plan to revive racing on condition that the French government lighten travel and transportation controls on national lock-downs.

Racing eyes then turned to President Emmanuel Macron, who is expected to announce ‘phase-1’ of new French public initiatives on 11 May. However, addressing French labour unions on Labour Day (Friday 1 May), Macron urged France’s business community to manage standards, promising that the country should take a phased approach to reopening in which all public action should be taken.

De Rothschild told national media: “At this point the news sounds positive. It has approval from the top level but in the current circumstances things change from one day to another and the situation is so unpredictable. The language is a bit cautious in the sense that we are never sure what is going to happen in two weeks’ time but the [view of the] office of the Prime Minister is quite favourable.”