Horse Racing Ireland has announced that no Irish-trained horses or Irish jockeys should go to the UK to compete between now and December 31, the date the UK ban is due to expire.
The travel ban has been put in place to help stem the spread of Covid-19 with concerns over a new strain of the virus taking grip in parts of the UK.
Further to the recommendation, declarations for UK-trained horses to race in Ireland will not be accepted during that time.
“The concern from Government is very clear: these are exceptional times and a travel ban with the UK is a once-in-a-generation occurrence”, says Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland.
“Irish racing has followed Government advice at all times during Covid-19 and will continue to do so.”
“In that regard, we are advising that no Irish-trained horses or jockeys should travel to the UK for competition between now and December 31, and no UK horses or jockeys should travel in the opposite direction.”
Ireland moves to Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions from Christmas Eve. Horse racing is permitted though must continue behind closed doors.
While the new measures are scheduled to be reviewed on 12 January, there have been warnings from Government that restrictions will stay in place for a number of months.
Racing at the Leopardstown Festival gets underway on St. Stephen’s Day with over €11m in prize money up for grabs across the four days of the event.