Dedicated to getting the Newmarket Races back on the nation’s sporting calendar, AFS worked closely with The Jockey Club at Newmarket Racecourse to enable the sport to get back on track in a Covid-safe environment.
Much like the rest of the sporting world, horse-racing sadly ground to an unceremonious halt at the beginning of the summer as the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic became inescapable front-page news. For communities like Newmarket, where the horse-racing and breeding industry supports over 3,000 jobs and contributes millions of pounds to the local economy*, working to adapt to this ‘new normal’ and allowing the racing to restart safely was of paramount importance.
In July, AFS worked with The Jockey Club and Newmarket Racecourse to transform the interiors of the facility’s confined spaces to secure them for the Covid age. Bespoke dividers built to the exact specification of the racecourse, are now being used in booths and in the jockey changing facilities to ensure social distancing measures are adhered to on-site. With the transparent dividers in place around the racecourse; jockeys, staff and other club members will be able to navigate the cramped indoor spaces more safely, minimising contact with surfaces potentially contaminated by colleagues, and forcing the recommended social distance to be observed in between riders.
As racing has gradually resumed, with a selection of events even being trialled with small crowds, it is hoped that the inclusion of such screens coupled with increased cleaning and one-way systems will allow the racecourse to function practically as normal with social distancing measures in mind. Both helping to implement the necessary social distancing measures and also protecting staff, the installation of AFS screens will play a decisive part in the process of resuming the sport safely. With an increased feeling of security in a new, Covid-safe workplace, staff will be able to perform their duties on race day safe in the knowledge that unnecessary contact with others will be kept to a minimum.
Extremely proud to play a part in getting horse-racing back on the sporting calendar in the East of England, AFS Supplies will continue to support The Jockey Club going forward in creating Covid-safe spaces at Newmarket. With the jockeys, horses and grooms little by little returning to the sport they all love, the only thing still missing for the moment is the fans!