Friday, May 15
In the shadows, the CJQ is working hard to resume racing
At the end of the day, it is a determined chairman of the board that we have been able to hear over the last few days. Indeed, Claude Lévesque and the members of his staff work tirelessly, trailing the authorities, to finally have the possibility to race at H3R before shortly.
According to Mr. Lévesque, “it is very important to mobilize and make as many contacts as possible with the government authorities. The Board meets every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., and all members make a point of participating. There is a determination among all to get races at H3R as soon as possible this summer. There are no doors that we have not knocked on, contacts that we have neglected. We even hired a public relations firm, a kind of lobbying company with the government. »
“Let people be reassured! We want races as soon as possible. And we’ll be ready. Different scenarios were put together: for example, eight races cards, with eight horses, one groom/person per horse, drivers dressing in their cars before showing up at the paddock. The neighboring province of Ontario, which has received permission from its government, has put in place a number of measures of its own.”
“It is the Ministry of Health or if you prefer the Department of Public Health that will ultimately give its approval. Without this authorization, it is impossible to proceed. We also count on the cooperation of the RACJ, which is essential for a return to the track. We are also in contact with other jurisdictions across Canada that could support us if necessary. Ms. Thomassin is also doing an important job in all of these steps. The town hall of Trois-Rivières is also one of our contacts. »
“If we got the Public Health ok tomorrow, we could quickly make qualifications and we’d be ready to race. Of course, the races would be done without spectators present at the racetrack, but we could rely on our television network to broadcast them and promote the sport. Incidentally, the inter-track betting works well on HPI, better than we could have anticipated and it will be even better when the harnessed races resume all over Canada and the United States. »
“We would like, and our horse people and our fans too, to be the first to return to the track; if not, it certainly won’t be for lack of trying. But I am hopeful that we will be able to do so in a few weeks. We must not let go and continue to follow up with the decision-making bodies. »
As can be seen, the leaders of the Jockey Club, led by Mr. Lévesque, are at work for the return of the races in Quebec. Let’s try to stay positive and be ready when the word “GO” is given.