161st Queen’s Plate Postponed Indefinitely

By Ben Hamill - April 05 2020
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 161st Queen’s Plate Postponed Indefinitely

What would have been the 161st running of the annual Queen’s Plate, has officially been cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic. Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson announced the news on Wednesday. The event was scheduled to take place on June 27, but since some of the races on the annual Woodbine calendar are required to be run in order to condition the 3-year-old thoroughbreds and to ensure that they are in fact ready to run a much longer than usual race. Lawson added that whilst a new date for the Queen’s Plate will not be confirmed right now, the intention is to host the race sometime later on this year, and to ensure that it remains the oldest continuously run race in North America.

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The decision to postpone the start of the thoroughbred season was reached following certain orders passed down from the Government of Ontario. National and provincial government orders intend slowing the spread of the virus so as to buy sufficient time for a Coronavirus vaccine and/or antibody to be developed. Flattening the curve is a term that we’ve all by this time heard on multiple occasions, but its ultimately the only approach that will ensure the preservation of medical health systems around the world.

Animals Are Being Cared For

All Queen’s Plate ticket holders will have the option of either holding on to their ticket pending the announcement of a new date, or to request a full refund from Woodbine Entertainment via the event’s official vendor Ticketmaster. Lawson encouraged fans to keep tabs on future dates by checking in regularly at QueensPlate.com.

But not all activities at the racecourse have been grinded to a halt as even though the actual seasonal events and races have been indefinitely postponed, it’s also true that the true stars of the shows, namely the horses, require ongoing care, grooming and conditioning.  For this reason, daily work with the horses will continue behind the scenes at Woodbine.

Committed To Safety

What that having been said, even though daily work is to continue uninterrupted on the backstretch, all of the necessary covid-19 safeguards as recommended by medical health departments, are being implemented on site.

Daily temperature screenings are being conducted at all entrances and only those essential to the care of the horses are being allowed entry. The rules of social distancing are being strictly adhered to and some 33 barns spread out across 200 acres of land are now in use in order to create sufficient space between trainers and carers.

Ontario is one of the provinces that is currently the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. More than 400 new cases (and counting) of covid-19 have been reported since April 1st. It’s vital that all businesses and individuals continue to do what’s necessary in order to successfully flatten the curve.

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