I know most of you are concerned with the COVID 19 situation we find ourselves in today. HBPA and all of its members have been meeting weekly to share information on a local, provincial and federal level.
We would love to provide firm dates for opening day etc, however there is absolutely no way we can give you that at this point. I wish we could, but there are just too many variables to give exact dates. However, what I can do is give everyone the three major obstacles that stand between us and live horseracing at Century Mile.
- COVID-19 – This seems a little obvious I know, but the fact remains as long as the virus cases are increasing, the province will remain shut down. So, everyone needs to do their part, follow the protocols.
- Casinos – Until the race track casinos open up, there will be no horse racing. We are different from other provinces, in Alberta the track operating funding comes directly from the current slot play, as do our purses. In short, no casinos no funds.
- Jockeys – Canada has closed the border to all foreign workers coming into Canada until May 15th, 2020. However, the government is looking at changing the arrival date to an earlier date for foreign workers that’ve already have been accepted, but at current time it’s May 15.
These aren’t the only issues, but they’re the larger ones. HBPA is working with Century and HRA on developing multiple plans depending on which scenario occurs. In the meantime, Century is still allowing the backside to remain open to those who meet the protocol allowing us to train and prepare for the 2020 season.
HBPA Executive Manager