Meeting News

NZTR COVID Announcement February 2021

NZTR COVID Announcement February 2021 and reminder of protocols for racing and trials at Alert Level 2                           

NZTR continues to work through the implications of the announcement that for three days from midnight 14 February 2021, the Auckland region is in Alert Level 3 and the remainder of the country in Alert Level 2.

Attendance at Race or Trials meetings – 16 & 17 February 2021 (‘Closed Doors’):

  • The trials meetings at Cambridge and at Ashburton on 16 February 2021 and the race meeting at Te Aroha (17 February) will each be run under NZTR Directive – ‘Protocols for training and racing under COVID-19 Alert Level 2’ (see link).
  • Additionally, it has been decided that all three of these meetings will be run ‘behind closed doors’, meaning that the owners of horses entered, members, the public, and sponsors will be unable to attend.
    NZTR and the clubs apologise and acknowledge that this may be a disappointment to those affected, but with insufficient time allowed to safely plan for a group (or groups) limited up to 100 persons, it was jointly determined that this restriction is justified. 
  • Therefore the only persons who will be permitted to attend these meetings will be trainers, riders, officials and club staff or contractors etc (the list of permitted persons is fully described per 2.1 of the NZTR Directive). 
  • Please note that there will be no catering at the Ashburton trials – so trainers, riders, officials and club staff or contractors etc should bring their own food and drink.

Announcements regarding other race or trial meetings will be made in coming days, in response to government updates and health orders. 

General requirements Race or Trials meetings:

Specific requirements for races or trials under Alert Level 2 are provided on the NZTR website (see link).  These requirements are basically unchanged from when last in use in August to October 2020.  While not comprehensive, the following serves as a reminder of the main requirements:

  • The only persons who will be permitted to attend these meetings will be trainers, riders, officials and club staff or contractors etc (the list of permitted persons is fully described per 2.1(a) of the NZTR Directive). 
  • Trainers must advise the racing club in advance of the names of stable staff who will be working at the meeting.  Note: due to the short timeframe, this requirement is waived for the Cambridge and Ashburton trials.
  • No person should attend if exhibiting an elevated temperature or any cold or flu symptoms.
  • A COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire must be completed by each person and provided on entry to the race track.
  • If a racing club has an NZTR approved plan for hosting gatherings of up to 100 persons, then a limited number of members, owners or public may attend a race meeting.
  • People admitted to the racecourse should also scan the government COVID Tracing QR Code displayed.
  • Face masks must be taken to the race meeting and worn in areas required (per 2.1(g) of the NZTR Directive) and wearing of masks in remaining areas is encouraged.  Any person who feels unable to wear a mask should not attend a race or trial meeting. 
  • Temperature checking will be required of jockeys and people working around weigh room or barriers etc (as defined per 2.1(e) of the NZTR Directive).
  • Hand sanitisers will be provided and should be used regularly (alternatively, soap and water) and before eating.
  • Trainers are required to provide a set of colours for each individual rider engaged to ride the trainer’s horses.  If they don’t have sufficient sets of colours, alternate colours will be provided by the Stewards. (refer 2.5(g)).
  • As the present lockdown may potentially be short-lived, an additional weight allowance of 1kg or 2kg will not be provided.  This will be monitored.  As a hygiene measure Jockey saunas will be closed (2.5(c)).
  • No jockey may travel for riding engagements between the North and South Island.

Movement across Auckland Boundaries:

 The restriction on movement of persons across the Auckland borders applies on the same basis as it did in 2020 when Alert Level 3 prevailed in Auckland region and at Level 2 elsewhere.  This impacts trainers, riders and racing officials or contractors.  Horses may be moved in or out of the Auckland region (including to a race or trials meeting in another region), provided that the horse is moved by a transport company, and arrangements have been made for the horse to be unloaded and handled by another person at that location.  Note that head collars, lead ropes etc should be disinfected.

  • Trainers located in a Level 2 region can transit through Auckland (Level 3) provided that they do not stop within Auckland.  This means trainers based in Northland can travel on own horse floats through to meetings in the Waikato or further south.  Please take documents that confirm your residence in Northland.
  • The Auckland-Waikato boundary is located further south than when imposed in August 2020, with the main boundary at Mercer.