The Rio de Janeiro Turf Professionals Association, having cancelled its activities following advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) due to the COVID-19 outbreak, has now requested that the authorities to reopen the La Gávea Hippodrome.
The initial cancellation of its events has seen the Brazil horse racing sector go against the order of President Jair Bolsonaro to keep things going so as not to hurt the economy, but the Association is now demanding the continuation of its activities on the basis of claims from its members.
Turf Professionals believed the slowdown had a negative effect on its finances because of its revenue based on the commissions created by horse racing.
The association’s appeal was submitted to the president of the Jockey Club of Brazil (JCB), Luiz Alfredo Taunay, who explained that the races would be postponed until further notice.
“The decision aims to preserve the safety of our partners, employees and regular customers, as well as their families. It follows the provisions from Rio de Janeiro, and in the event that the COVID-19 scenario changes, we will reevaluate this,” said the Jockey Club of Brazil.
“We insist that the WHO guidelines must be followed, to avoid crowds and be extra aware of personal hygiene. We hope we have the support from the public and the Brazilian population in the fight against this pandemic.”
Rio racecourse as well as other JCB member facilities will be closed permanently, with the exception of cleaning and maintenance workers who will continue their duties.
Riders, coaches and other participants plan to hold weekly meetings to discuss potential ideas, and to model what the São Paulo Citye Jardim racetrack is doing.