Racing suspension extended beyond end of April

"It's right to continue this suspension until the pressure on the NHS allows for a resumption," says BHA chief executive Nick Rust

A general view as runners race up the straight at Cheltenham racecourse on March 12
Image: Racing has been halted in the UK since March 18

The British Horseracing Authority has extended the suspension of racing beyond the end of April.

The action stopped on March 18 before the government introduced the current lockdown measures to protect essential emergency services and the health and safety of the public.

The BHA has not set a new date for ending the suspension but plans are in place so that the sport is ready to resume as soon as is possible and appropriate in consultation with government.

Chief executive Nick Rust said: "We stopped racing in March to protect the health and safety of the public and to limit demands on the NHS. It's right to continue this suspension until the pressure on the NHS allows for a resumption and we can assure the safety of those taking part.

Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority Nick Rust
Image: Nick Rust, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority

"We are in touch with government as part of our development of a responsible, coordinated plan for the return of sport when it's appropriate to do so.

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"We'll continue to develop a range of options drawing on the expertise of our participants and racecourses. But for now, we are all focused on supporting the national effort, maintaining social distancing restrictions and taking care of our people and our horses."

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