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Coronavirus: Horse racing returning to London, Leamington

Harness racing at the Western Fair Raceway.
Harness racing at the Western Fair Raceway. Western Fair District

Western Fair Raceway manager Greg Gangle said they are looking to start racing again come Oct. 9.

“Racing will go on, that’s for certain,” Gangle said.

“As long as we don’t see further cases, but the number one concern for us is safety.”

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He said that date could change in the coming weeks, depending on how things go with the novel coronavirus.

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“You want to hope for the best but expect the worst.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Live horse racing is about to officially return to Ontario

As part of the province’s stage 3 reopening plans, gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed outside. However, Gangle said they are still looking into how many people they would allow in at one time.

Other tracks like Leamington Raceway have already started. The racetrack started horse racing last Sunday but to an empty stadium.

The Raceway will be opening its doors to a maximum of 100 spectators starting August 23, but those wanting to come will have to reserve a spot beforehand.

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General manager for Leamington raceway Wayne Martinuik said it was a strange feeling seeing races last weekend with no spectators in the stands.

“Generally, we would have 600 to 700 people in a grandstand, so if we get to 100, we will be down.”

Before being let in, he says people will have their temperatures checked and be given a specific area in which to sit.

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