Fixtures set to resume at Southwell Racecourse

Southwell Races
Southwell Races

Southwell Racecourse has confirmed fixtures will resume on Wednesday (13th February) following a six-day national suspension due to an outbreak of equine flu.

The British Horseracing Authority had put a stop to all fixtures last week to conduct tests and believe appropriate measures are now in place to continue with racing fixtures.

BHA chief regulatory officer Brant Dunshea confirmed racing could resume with strict biosecurity controls in place, saying: “Our approach since hearing about the first positive results last Wednesday has been based on accumulating as much information as we could as quickly as possible so we could properly understand the risks of this virulent strain of flu spreading to more horses. That would be harmful to them and damaging to any trainers’ yards that became infected.

“It has also been our intention to ensure that we avoid an issue that could result in a longterm disruption to racing with the risk of many of our major events being unduly impacted.

“After analysis of thousands of samples, and no further positive tests on Monday, we still only have two confirmed sites of infection. We have put robust containment measures in place around both.

“From the testing and analysis conducted the disease appears to be contained at present. The BHA veterinary committee believe that the swift controls on movement that were put in

place have clearly helped to restrict the spread of this virus.

“There have been significant logistical issues associated with testing and processing so many tests in such a short space of time. Fortunately, owing to the tireless efforts of the Animal Health Trust, trainers and their local vets, and BHA staff, the vast majority of yards which had been placed on hold will be in a position to resume racing.

“Clearly, there is some risk associated with returning to racing. This risk has been assessed and, based on the evidence - and ensuring biosecurity measures are in place – the level of

risk is viewed as acceptable.”

Southwell Races added: "We would like to thank all of our customers for their understanding during this period, and very much look forward to resuming racing."