KINGSTON, Jamaica – Shane Ellis, president of the Jamaica Jockeys’ Guild, says his fellow riders will have no problems following protocols as they prepare for a possible return to the saddle in mid-June during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Racing at Caymanas Park has been indefinitely suspended due to the novel coronavirus outbreak since March 21.
Jockeys can expect things to look and feel different when racing eventually resumes, but Ellis, a former two-time champion jockey, said it will just be another normal day at the office even though masks are to be worn, sanitising to be done regularly, and social distancing must be maintained.
“Preparation for the return of competitive race riding at Caymanas Park is going good, and for the protocols associated with it, we as jockeys have no problems with it. I mean, we riders have been doing protocols from when we had the two days of racing without spectators in March and so that won’t be a new thing for us.
“We were wearing our masks, and we were also practising social distancing as well. Even when we are up in the jockeys’ room, we were keeping our distance from each other as we were taking precautions to be safe.
“Sanitising is no problem for us as we have sanitisers, and washing and cleaning have been doing on a regular basis. And so overall, we have no problems with the protocols, as we are already practising them and ready for the return of racing,” Ellis said.
Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), the sole promoter of local horse racing, had recently issued a 10-race day projection to coincide with the return of races to Caymanas Park. The season’s first two Classic races – the 1000 and 2000 Guineas – are scheduled to take place on the ninth and 10th day, respectively.
Since the Government has relaxed curfew hours, and has planned a reopening of the economy, it is believed that horse racing could restart on June 13.
“We are looking forward to the returning of horse racing at Caymanas Park; we can’t wait as we are all excited about this. We as riders are all happy. This is the best thing right now because we are not earning and we need to go back to work,” the ‘Canterman’ said.