Racing Queensland eases biosecurity measures
A NUMBER of biosecurity measures introduced by the Queensland racing industry during COVID-19 were eased last week.
With the approval of Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young, the race day restrictions limiting participants to their allocated regions were lifted, allowing them to compete across the state.
In line with Queensland’s roadmap to easing COVID-19 restrictions, clubs will also be permitted to allow up to 20 patrons on-course, subject to complying with the requirements put in place by the Queensland government.
Even so, patron-free racing will continue in the Central Highlands with Emerald Jockey Club President Mary Bulger saying it would not be viable to allow patrons into Pioneer Park track with the limited numbers.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and the uncertainty of what could still lay ahead, the Moranbah races on June 16 have been cancelled, the Clermont race club will miss its annual Tony Kenny memorial Clermont Cup in July, and August has seen a succession of cancellations including the Middlemount, Dingo, and Bluff Cup race days.
In the Capricornia region, there will possibly be a resumption of non-Tab racing at Gladstone and Thangool in coming weeks, and the Emerald Pioneer Park circuit will continue to be used as a Tab venue going forward.
No announcement has been made by Trudy Roberts and her team at the Springsure Race Club, with the September Springsure cup meeting still planned, but cloudy.
The Twin Hills races, an iconic Central Highlands Race meeting scheduled for September, is still a possibility. Secretary of the club Jasmin Scharf said the event had not been cancelled and that a final decision about the 2020 races, rodeo and camp draft event has not been made as yet.
“We will look at all Government and local community guidelines and ensure we can adhere to them and will not go ahead if this isn’t possible,” Mrs Scharf said.
“But if time is on our side and it is given the green light that it’s safe to go ahead, for the large crowd that always attends the Twin Hills meeting and travel is permitted, we hope to hold the event.
“In the crazy times it’s nice to have something to look forward to and some hope for both racing participants and rodeo and campdraft participants who will be looking forward to getting back to normality.
“Unless you hear otherwise from us, the Twin Hills races are still on the calendar.”
The Twin Hills Races are a yearly bonanza of rodeo, racing and campdraft in September.
The event has a long and proud history in the Central Highlands region, dating back to 1925.