Latest Update COVID-19 Tuesday 24 March

Mary Burgess
24 March 2020

As New Zealand prepares to go into lockdown at midnight on Wednesday here is a brief overview of where the industry sits at present:


As per yesterday’s announcement there will be no racing, trials or jumpouts from Tuesday, 24 March for the next four weeks while the country is on lockdown.

Training Centres/stables

NZTR has been in lengthy consultation with MPI regarding the care of horses currently in training, the protocols around that care and what that might look like.  We expect a decision from MPI later today.


All international equine flights have been suspended until further notice.  The decision to cease the uplift of cabin occupants meant professional grooms were no longer able to safely accompany the shipment of horses travelling overseas.

For any queries, contact NZB Airfreight Manager Greg Northcott on +64 27 459 4995 or email [email protected].

South Island Sale

New Zealand Bloodstock has made the decision to postpone the 2020 South Island Sale that was due to be held on 17 April.

The sale has now been moved to Friday 7 August 2020.

Karaka May Sale

A decision around the Karaka May Sale, which was due to be held on Friday 15 May, will be made on Wednesday 15 April.

Should there be no update at that time as to when the current restrictions might end NZB will consult with stakeholders and either postpone the sale to Sunday, 7 June, or cancel the sale.  If the latter option is the case the horses may be offered for sale online on NZB’s subsidiary,

For any queries, contact Bloodstock Sales Manager, Danny Rolston or Director and Operations Manager James Jennings.

Hall of Fame Dinner

The New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame biennial induction dinner, which was to be held in Hamilton on Sunday, 3 May, has been postponed.  A new date will be scheduled either later this year or early next year.

Draft racing calendar 2020/21 season

The next draft of the racing calendar for next season has been paused at this stage as the possible implications of the current lockdown are considered.

Float companies

Float companies are also in discussions with MPI as the Animal Welfare Act may, in certain situations, allow them to operate in a minimal manner if absolutely essential ie transporting horses to vet clinics; from quarantine etc.

Contact: Majestic at 0800 4 FLOATS (356287) OR Premier Horse Floats at 027 640 4559.

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