Protecting business from equine flu
The British Horse Racing Authority has called off all racing fixtures until next week, at the earliest, due to the recent outbreak of equine flu in vaccinated horses. The biggest national hunt meet, pre-Cheltenham, at Musselburgh, which was due to take place on Sunday, has been cancelled, and there is talk that Cheltenham Races and even potentially the Grand National could be affected. This is not necessarily due to expectations that fixtures will still be under enforced cancellation, but concern that, due to this lockdown, not enough horses may be sufficiently fit or ready to race.
Duncan Sutcliffe, director, Sutcliffe & Co, commented: “The British Horse Racing Authority is right to do what it can to protect the welfare of horses and protect the racing industry in the long run. However, cancelling fixtures will have a huge short-term impact on racecourses, caterers, hoteliers, farriers, and all of those businesses involved in the local supply chain.
“It is for these unexpected situations that cancellation insurance is imperative. However, it’s not just cancellation insurance for the event organisers, but for any business that relies on an event for a considerable part of their income. For example, hotels local to large race meets, such as Cheltenham, can add an extension to their insurance to help cover their business should the fixture be cancelled and therefore room bookings cancelled.”
Equine flu is a serious issue but we hope the swift action by the British Horse Racing Authority will limit its impact on the horses themselves, the racing industry and the wider associated business across the UK.