EIE Examines the Impact of COVID19 with: “Saratoga Horse Racing in the Time of COVID19: Yay, or Neigh?” and  “Jockey’s Goggles Become Tool for Whipping Coronavirus

Equine Info Exchange continues to publish timely and thought-provoking content on a wide variety of current topics of interest. Here are two  recently-published articles:  both important, dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the equestrian community.

Saratoga Horse Racing in the Time of COVID-19: Yay, or Neigh?” by Michael Pawluk – The Big Question is this: will there be a live racing meet at Saratoga in the year 2020? The essence of Saratoga… and the driving economic force and passion of the majority of people… is horses and equine sports. Most notably, Thoroughbred horse racing.  In 2019, the Thoroughbred meet was extended to almost eight weeks, while staying with 40 race days.  (Two dark days weekly, up from one.) The Oklahoma training track on the Saratoga Race Course is open for training for seven months every year (mid-April through mid-November); the country’s leading trainers bring their horses there for most of that time. Even in the dead of winter, the simulcasting venue at Saratoga Harness always is packed with people watching and wagering on races from all over the country. By July 4th weekend, Saratoga is packed with folks from all over, enjoying fireworks and eagerly counting the days ’til that Opening Day.

A meet without fans wouldn’t have enough economic impact on the area to offset the likely damage left behind as hotels, restaurants and other small businesses are already struggling. A meet with no fans still means that trainers, assistant trainers, foremen, grooms, hot walkers, exercise riders, jockeys, NYRA employees and their families would come into town from all over the country—and most, primarily from the biggest COVID-19 hotspot in the WORLD, the New York City-metro and Long Island areas.

There is only one responsible way for NYRA and officials to act for the long-term benefit of the horseman, the fans and the people of this area – for humanity and for world health. The 2020 meet must be cancelled and held at Belmont if possible.

Read the entire article HERE , and decide if you agree.

“Jockeys’ Goggles Become Tool for Whipping Coronavirus,” by David Grening – Jockeys at tracks currently racing in Florida, Oklahoma, and Arkansas are collecting new and used jockeys’ goggles to send to hospitals nationwide for doctors and nurses to use as eye protection while treating coronavirus patients. Goggles for Docs, an effort to get eye protection in the hands of health-care workers treating patients with COVID-19, began in late March. Shirley Jerkens, the wife of trainer Jimmy Jerkens, saw a news report about the project and reached out to Trevor Crist, one of the founders of Goggles for Docs, with the idea of collecting jockeys’ goggles to contribute to the cause.

Jerkens, who is currently in Saratoga, reached out to jockeys Tyler Gaffalione (Gulfstream), Ricardo Santana Jr. (Oaklawn Park), Lane Luzzi (Will Rogers Downs), and Ricky Ramirez (Remington Park) to recruit their help collecting goggles. Jerkens said she hopes to get other tracks involved, once they start reopening. “Our goal is to have every running racetrack set up a donation box for goggles that goes out to Goggles for Docs on a weekly or bi-weekly basis,” Jerkens said.  A list of the hospitals that are accepting goggles can be found at www.gogglesfordocs.com   Read the whole story HERE

The Article Archive is a great way to explore the entire trove of stories we curate here on Equine Info Exchange. We offer also daily News Feeds for the latest equine news and headlines.

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