Senior figures in the horse racing industry met on Wednesday to consider all options for financial support following the suspension of the sport.
With no prospect of any racing until the end of April at the earliest, there is a grave danger of of severe financial hardship at many yards.
After Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a rescue package for British businesses and the economy on Tuesday, the racing industry team has been working urgently to understand how those in the sport can access financial assistance, including those who are self-employed.
While discussions with the Government have taken place, racing has been warned to not expect immediate answers due to the hit the whole economy is taking.
Those involved in the discussions included BHA chief executive Nick Rust, Rupert Arnold of the National Trainers Federation, David Armstrong of the Racecourse Association and Charlie Liverton from The Horsemen’s Group and the Racehorse Owners Association.
A joint statement was issued which read: “We know these are anxious times for everyone in our industry. Whilst everyone is worrying about the health of their families, we now face this huge disruption.
“We know people are worried about their jobs and the survival of their businesses. We are working round-the-clock to present the most powerful case we can to the UK and devolved governments.
“People will have many, many questions as a result of this uncertainty. We cannot answer them all at present and must focus on preparing a case that sets out clearly and carefully the issues we face as an industry.
“The need to look after the 14,000 horses in training and the many more who are part of the breeding industry will be central to that case. Their welfare must be maintained. We pride ourselves on the high standards of care for horses in racing and we will not let those drop.
“We would ask all those in racing to keep in touch with the organisations that represent their part of the sport.
“Questions from employers or employees should be directed through representative bodies, using existing contacts or new ones created where those exist. The BHA and senior executives, supported by the Industry COVID19 group, will offer support as appropriate.
“As we present our case, we also know that there will be a point at which racing can return. We want to ensure the industry remains ready to resume whenever that’s possible. That will start money flowing back to the businesses that support us and to the rural economy. We know that’s well understood by government.”