The Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario
To all Horsepeople,
We have received numerous questions about when horses should be shipped-in to Woodbine. We appreciate the uncertainty and commit that our main focus is helping the Woodbine Horseperson Community.
Our intention is to keep the Woodbine backstretch open indefinitely for training and we are currently planning on opening the season on time (April 18). However, even with restricted access and safety measures in place, if Covid-19 is found in a critical part of the backstretch it would likely lead to a shutdown of active training.
We believe that with the safety measures in place, including the self-isolation requirements imposed, the Woodbine backstretch is the best place for your horses. We have made this point clear to the government. To date, there has been no sign of Covid-19 at Woodbine.
In addition to a spread of Covid-19 in the backstretch, there is significant public and government pressure not to race, and we may have to carefully consider the ramifications of moving forward. We adamantly share the public’s and government’s concern and the safety of everyone involved is our priority. Please know that while times like these are unprecedented, Canadians are a kind, understanding people who would not want to see harm come to our community.
Unfortunately, at this time, any firmer position on the start of the Thoroughbred racing season is not available. Please be assured that any decision impacting the start date will not impact the Woodbine’s ability to provide space for horses to be cared for.
Thank you for your patience, understanding and commitment to safety.
Senior Manager, Communications