Dated 1st April 2020 JAI wrote to the RWITC & BTC
RWITC / BTC
When the whole World is worried about COVID-19, few RWITC and BTC horse trainers are only worried regarding their horses's track work. Hundreds of people are every day coming in contact with each other by doing so. These same people are going out from race course to buy their daily needs and coming in contact with others too. We hope that RWITC/BTC is not going to be another case like what happened in the Delhi Tabligi Jamaat case. In other parts of the World and in India millions of horses are alive without going to track work every day. Horses are not in work in Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mysore, Chennai and still they are not having any medical issue.
We therefore are not able to understand as to why RWITC/BTC Authority and Trainers are risking almost 1000 people's life just to keep certain activities going. By carrying on horse track work, the Syces are coming in close contact with others, the horses and the equipments which could trigger an accelerated spread of the virus if its already been carried out by anyone. So the chances of coming in contact with the virus and spreading it further is much higher than in any other normal situation.
We hope the said Authorities and Trainers will understand the seriousness of COVID-19 and take a decision regarding working their horses considering the interest of our members and stable staffs.
This letter is to place on record that we have already requested and informed all of you not to force or coerce our members to carry out work.
For The Jockeys Association of India
Dated 24th April 2020 BTC responded to the letter of the JAI
To Acting Secretary
Jockey Association of India,
We acknowledge the receipt of your email dated 1st April 2020 by you to Secretary, RWITC & BTC and same was placed for discussion and consideration before the Stewards of the Club and after detailed deliberations of the matter. The Stewards have directed to reply as under:
a) At the outset it is very disheartening and least to say very upsetting to note that a direct acquisition has been made against BTC authorities with regards to the negligence pertaining to Covid 19 protocols and measures. A comparison of the race course to the Delhi Tablighi Jamaat case seems quite unfortunate and out of proportion.
b) The BTC authorities after being fully aware of the situation instantly considered the Government Advisories issued and as quickly as possible took the following measures with regards to the welfare of both men and horses and issued two notices dated 21st March 2020 and 23rd March 2020 which clearly indicated the measures as below:
i) Track work was completely stopped (Inner and Outer Sand track were closed), Bund school and lunging areas were kept open for those who wished to use the basic facilities keeping the welfare of horse in mind and also by maintaining the social distancing norms.
ii) Veterinary facilities were made available round the clock.
iii) Complete BAN of movement of horses in and out of BTC.
iv) Special Police phases were procured for movement of essential commodities to be brought into the BTC for both Men and Horses. Special passes were also procured for Trainers, Committee Members and officials to ensure the measures were followed and to ensure the BTC was sanitized to the maximum extent possible.
v) Syces/ Jamadars/ Riding boys were briefed about the necessary measures to be taken by them to ensure their safety and other safety.
vi) The doctors stationed at BTC are keeping a constant check on the health of stable staff and also providing necessary basic medication and treatment.
vii) The entire BTC is shutdown barring essential needs for horses and humans connected to the welfare of horses.
viii) Treatment of horses to be done in the respective stables unless otherwise to ensure social distancing. All riding boys desirous of working horses in BTC to stay within the premise of BTC till the lockdown has been lifted.
ix) Trainers have been informed to keep a constant watch on the health of the stables and to report any untoward incident to the medical authorities.
We wish to also sate that it has been the concern of the Government authorities that horses and other animals are taken care of under all circumstances. You are informed that it is for the same reason that the basic facilities have been kept open for those who wish to use it.
At this juncture, we also wish to state that none of your members have been forced to work horses at any point of time not as alleged by you.
It is without any doubt that the BTC authorities have considered the welfare of Men and Animals of paramount important not only during this situation but in all such situations including the Equine Influenza break out a few years back.
The Stewards were very disappointed to note that instead of supporting the cause and working together you have expressed yourself in a manner that you are not part of the fraternity whilst BTC had always considered Jockeys as part of BTC and the Racing fraternity.
It should not go out of place to mention that the Trainers and respective staff have co-operated and supported the measures taken by the authorities and we hope and pray that together we are able to succeed in the endeavour.
In conclusion and in view of the above, the Stewards have in their discretion and as per Rule No 41(a) of BTC Rules of Racing decided to withdraw of license of Jockeys granted for the period 2019-2020 with immediate effect and until further notice.
For Bangalore Turf Club Ltd.