Message to Mohawk Horsepeople

In Featured by COSA

Woodbine Mohawk Park Horsepeople,

As you may have seen in the news, the Thoroughbred racing season at Woodbine Racetrack may abruptly end as a result of the Government of Ontario’s announcement last Friday that Toronto has entered the province’s Grey Level (Lockdown) phase of coronavirus-related restrictions. These new ‘Lockdown’ measures do not permit live horse racing in Toronto. Woodbine Entertainment is continuing efforts to get permission from the Government to complete the season and a final decision will be made later today.

Currently, Halton, the region where Woodbine Mohawk Park is located, is in the Red Level (Control) of the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework which allows for live horse racing without spectators. However, we can all appreciate how quickly this can change.

To that end, we have been in discussions with the Government to explain the significant impact their decision to shut down Thoroughbred horse racing will have on our business, horsepeople and the industry in Ontario. Our hope is that with a better understanding of the industry and our operations, as well as an appreciation of our safety record at Woodbine Racetrack and Woodbine Mohawk Park, the Government will further consider these impacts moving forward and especially if they begin considering moving Halton into the Grey Level (Lockdown).

You may also be aware that three individuals in our jockey room at Woodbine Racetrack tested positive for COVID-19 last week. While this is currently being managed well by our COVID-19 Health and Safety Committee and the protocols that we implemented for this very purpose, it also serves as a very important reminder that we all have to do our part to protect each other and our live racing.

We cannot stress enough the importance of operating safely by adhering to our strict COVID-19 Prevention Protocols. If a COVID-19 outbreak occurred at Woodbine Mohawk Park and we were forced to suspend racing, it would have very significant impacts to Woodbine Entertainment’s business and the industry.

As a reminder, here are the COVID-19 Prevention Protocols that must be followed at all times:

  • Anyone attending Woodbine Mohawk Park must complete the Daily Screening form prior to their arrival which can be found here;
  • While on the property, it is mandatory to wear a face mask or face covering;
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently and avoid touching your face;
  • Stay six feet or two metres from others at all times;
  • If you are not feeling well, or are showing any symptoms, be honest and do not access Woodbine Mohawk Park;
  • Limit exposure to others while outside of the racetrack.

In addition to following these protocols at Woodbine Mohawk Park, we request that trainers who operate training centres please implement, follow and enforce similar protocols at their facilities.

Anyone found not to be adhering to these requirements at Woodbine Mohawk Park may face disciplinary action.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and recognition of its importance.

Stay safe everyone,

Jessica Buckley
Senior Vice President, Standardbred and Thoroughbred Racing
Woodbine Entertainment