Racehorse owners chafing at the bit for tracks to reopen

Racehorse owners chafing at the bit for tracks to reopen

Stablehands wash a horse in Nakhon Ratchasima province in this undated photo.(Photo supplied by Prasit Tangprasert)
Stablehands wash a horse in Nakhon Ratchasima province in this undated photo.(Photo supplied by Prasit Tangprasert)

NAKHON RATCHASIMA: Horse owners on Monday petitioned the government to allow the reopening of racetracks throughout the country, which were all closed about five months ago because of the spread of Covid-19.

The petition, addressed to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, was filed at the complaints centre at Government House by Puthipat Pongchaiyakul, chairman of a group representing racehorse owners in Nakhon Ratchasima province.

It was received by Sompas Nilphan, an adviser at the office of the permanent secretary of the Prime Minister's Office.

Mr Puthipat said because of the Covid-19 pandemic, racecourses in Nakhon Ratchasima and other provinces have been closed since March 7 under restrictions imposed by the government to contain the virus.

Racehorse owners and breeding farms have been hard hit by the consequent loss of income, as they must still care for the needs of the horses and employees looking after them, said Mr Puthipat. The  upkeep for each racehorse averaged about 20,000 baht per month.

Other businesses dependent on the racing industry were also suffering, he said. 

In the name of racehorse owners, Mr Puthipat called for the prime minister to allow the reopening of  racecourses as soon as possible, and promised to follow every guideline set down to prevent the spread of Covid-19.



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