The following message has been issued for horsepeople by the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium and the HBPA.

Dear Fort Erie Horsepeople,

As we get closer to the start of our racing season at Fort Erie Race Track, we are navigating the complexities of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium and the HBPA would like to provide an update to our horsepeople.

We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our staff, horsepeople, customers and horses, and therefore will be putting new measures in place for the upcoming season. At this time, we fully intend to open our backstretch as scheduled on April 12. We also hope to be able to run our approved race calendar for the upcoming season, whether this is with or without customers is yet to be determined.

In order to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that our training and racing can continue as planned, there will be changes to our standard operating procedures, which will be circulated at a later date. In following with government rules and guidelines, horsepeople should be aware that all people returning to Canada will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days at home or at an offsite accommodation prior to being granted access to the backstretch. Proof of when you returned to Canada will be required for your initial visit (example boarding pass, slip from the border, etc.). As well, all people entering the backstretch will be required to complete daily screenings before being granted access.

We know that horses cannot be abandoned and need a safe home where they can be cared for. Horses will be permitted access and are not required to quarantine, however those caring for horses will not be granted access to the backstretch during the 14-day self-quarantine period. During this time, horses must be in the care of someone who has not travelled outside of Canada, or who has already completed the 14-day self-isolation period.

We understand that these changes may pose a problem in caring for horses. We are working with the HBPA, and are considering all options to help manage this and other problems that may arise.

We will continue to keep you informed of any updates. The world is changing daily however, and circumstances may force changes down the road. Please monitor our website and social media for any updates in this regard, or phone the Race Office or myself.

Thank you for your understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times. Wishing you much health.

Tom Valiquette
Chief Operating & Financial Officer
Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium