Victorian race entrants must receive a Covid-19 vaccination with partially and fully vaccinated target dates from Racing Victoria.
Racing Victoria has made the Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for all employees and participants, including coaches, jockeys, stable staff and stewards, starting next month.
The terms and conditions apply to all Victorian racetracks and training centers, as well as the Flemington RV headquarters and offices.
Participants must be at least partially vaccinated by Caulfield Cup Day – October 16.
Two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents who took an industry survey last week identified themselves as being fully or partially vaccinated.
Another 15 percent said they would be vaccinated, 10 percent remained undecided.
Eight percent indicated their initial desire not to be vaccinated.
RV received 1,590 responses to the survey, which was sent to 3,436 participants.
The Australian Trainers ‘Association, the Victorian Jockeys’ Association (VJA), the three Metropolitan Clubs, Country Racing Victoria and RV media companies were consulted on the new policy.
All RV license participants and employees must be fully vaccinated by November 27th, with the exception of those with a statutory exception.
Owners who want to enter the rearing facility are also subject to the vaccination policy.
While other major sports laws, including the AFL and NRL, strongly encourage vaccinations, they are not yet mandatory for athletes, coaches, and match day staff.
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RV CEO Giles Thompson on Tuesday thanked attendees for their continued efforts and compliance with biosecurity protocols to help racing fight the pandemic over the past 18 months.
“Unlike other sports, racing happens every day of the year with a highly mobile workforce, so it is imperative that we do our best to protect the health and safety of our workforce,” said Thompson.
“The advice of our chief physician and our risk assessment have shown that the mandatory Covid-19 vaccination is the right decision for the health and safety of our employees, participants and industry.”
RV will monitor the vaccination offer and maintain “some” flexibility in case problems arise, especially for the younger employees.
VJA Managing Director Matt Hyland said, “The vast majority of our members are already vaccinated or are on their way to being vaccinated.
“They are realizing the importance of vaccinations to their health, livelihoods, and getting back to the things they love, such as travel.”
ATA CEO Andrew Nicholl said, “We understand that there will be people who are uncomfortable with today’s announcement.
“These individuals must also acknowledge that Racing Victoria has a responsibility to protect the racing community and the racing product in this state.
“There is no doubt about the circumstances that exist in Victoria…. are a challenge for everyone … ATA considers the mandate announced by RV today to be a responsible measure at this point in time. “