Covid-19 industry notice

24 July 2020 | Harness Racing Victoria

HRV Stewards will continue to take a hardened approach regarding any person who breaches the following directions and requirements, which are in place to protect the health and wellbeing of all persons involved in the harness racing industry.

This industry notice is a timely reminder of the current protocols in place and these requirements apply to all race meetings and trials conducted in Victoria.

HRV Stewards inform all industry participants and stakeholders that the following requirements must be adhered to at all Victorian race meetings and trials: 

  • Only Victorian based Trainers and Drivers may compete at a race meeting or trials. 
  • Only licensed Trainers, Drivers and Stablehands may attend a race meeting or trial and only where they have a horse engaged, a driving engagement or are assisting a Trainer with a horse engaged in a race meeting or trial.
  • Only Essential Raceday Staff may attend a race meeting or trial. 
  • A Trainer must have only 1 (one) Stablehand present at a meeting or trial. The only exception will be where a Trainer has 3 (three) or more horses engaged in a race meeting or trial in which case a maximum number of only 2 (two) Stablehands may attend in company with that trainer. Permission can be been obtained by the Stewards for an additional stablehand, however that is dependent on the number of horses engaged at that race meeting.
  • Prior to entering the stabling area all persons must present their HRV licence/identification for verification, complete an ‘Infectious Disease Declaration’ and be subject to a temperature test upon arrival and prior to entry being granted to a racecourse. All participants are encouraged to complete the Infectious Disease Declaration prior to arrival at a race meeting or trial.
  • Prior to entering a racecourse all persons who are eligible to enter must undergo a temperature check. Any persons displaying a confirmed temperature of 37.6 degrees Celsius or above will not be permitted entry to the racecourse. Such person will not be permitted to attend further race meetings, or present any horse to start in races, until a full medical clearance including a negative Covid-19 test is obtained and provided to the HRV Stewards (Effective 25 March 2020).
  • Drivers are to limit the time spent within the Drivers Room and all enclosed areas as much as possible and are to exercise appropriate social distancing protocols at all times (click here to view HRV COVID-19 procedures).
  • Trainers and drivers are to leave the race meeting as soon as possible upon fulfilling their obligations in accordance with the Australian Harness Racing Rules (after completion of swabbing procedures, attendance before Stewards etc).
  • Trainers and drivers are not to stand in groups along the racecourse fence lines to watch races or congregate in other areas of the race track and must engage in social distancing protocols at all times (ensuring a distance of 1.5m between persons is maintained at all times).
  • Trainers, drivers and stablehands are encouraged to regularly wash and disinfect their hands and engage in hygienic practices at all times.
  • All licensed persons who are attending a race meeting in an official capacity are not to attend bistros or other areas of the racecourse where the general public may be in attendance and partaking in a meal or refreshments.
  • No owners (unless a licensed trainer, driver or stablehand engaged in the race meeting) or the general public are allowed on course.
  • Masks must now be worn by all licensed persons and staff on course at all metropolitan tracks (Kilmore, Cranbourne and Tabcorp Park Melton) effective from 23/07/2020.
  • Masks must now be worn by all licensed persons and staff on course at all racetracks in Victoria (effective from 27/07/2020).
  • All drivers are advised that In line with amended Government instructions the wearing of a mask or face covering is not compulsory during a race or trial. However drivers are strongly encouraged to wear some face covering, for example pulling up their skivvy or the wearing of a ski mask to cover the mouth and nose.
  • All drivers are reminded that they will be required to wear a mask or face covering for any post-race interviews at all racetracks in Victoria.
  • All persons in the municipalities of Casey and Hume and Melton will not be permitted to leave the track once they have completed their declaration and been temperature tested until their last engagement is complete.  Participants are advised that they should pack enough supplies, including food for the duration of their engagement.

All persons are advised that should they fail to comply with these requirements significant penalties, including periods of disqualification, may be imposed under AHRR 238.

AHRR 238 states:

238. A person shall not fail to comply with any order, direction or requirement of the Controlling Body or the Stewards relating to harness racing or to the harness racing industry.

These measures have been put in place to ensure that harness racing complies with all bio-security requirements and must be followed to ensure that Harness Racing in Victoria continues under the current State Government restrictions. Your cooperation will assist us all to continue racing for as long as possible as any breach may place in jeopardy the future of racing in this state.