Horse and dog racing resumes under alert level 3 raises eyebrows

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Sep 02, 2021 |

Photo: NZ racing

Horse and dog racing in New Zealand has resumed under alert level 3, but the guidelines have raised eyebrows in the industry and with local police.

Locals contacted Chris Lynch questioning why horse racing was taking place at Ashburton Raceway on Wednesday.

A police spokeswoman confirmed police attended a report of horse race at the Ashburton Racecourse. “Those in attendance were complying with Alert Level 3 guidelines, no action was taken by police.”

Several Ashburton residents questioned the need for racing under alert level 3.

“How can a horse or dog race be permitted, but funerals are restricted to 10 people, including staff, to farewell a loved one” a resident said.

Ashburton Raceway CEO Jeff Mclaughlin said “we have all the paperwork, everyone who was supposed to be here was here, and we’re quite happy”

“Like all businesses, we close the doors, essential people only, people who saddle the horses and load the horses.”

On the New Zealand Racing Thoroughbred Racing website, it says “while conducting race meetings and trials is permitted under Alert Level 3 some in the general public are not aware of this.”

“We are aware of their concerns being raised with MPs’ offices, and of a police visit to the Ashburton meeting today off the back of queries from members of the public.”

“The club and Racing Integrity Board were able to provide evidence to the police that racing was permitted under Alert Level 3, also explaining the strict protocols in place for this to happen.”

The website said “this is a salient reminder that the industry will be under scrutiny due to its position of being able to operate under Alert Level 3, and that participants must work within the protocols in place to allow us to continue to race.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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