Horse racing suspended due to coronavirus outbreak reopens


Horse racing, which could not be held for about 2.5 months due to the outbreak of a new type of coronavirus (Covid-19), will reopen tomorrow with the new normalization process.

Horse racing, which was postponed on March 20 by decision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry as part of the coronavirus measures, will resume tomorrow with the races taking place at Veliefendi Hippodrome in Istanbul.

The excitement of the first start is experienced in the equestrian community, where races have not taken place for approximately 80 days.

Preparations continue at full speed at Veliefendi, one of the most important racecourses in Turkish horse racing. The training and preparations which begin at 04:00 at the racecourse continue until the first light of day.

Valuable racehorses continue to work hard to get racing back under the supervision of their grooms, trainers, jockeys and owners.


Precautions taken

Coronavirus precautions have been taken at Veliefendi Racecourse.

As part of the measures, racing areas, paddocks, saddle areas and the number of people entering the result paddock have been reduced to a minimum. Social distancing strips have been placed in areas with high human activity.

While those entering the racetrack, where training continued uninterrupted, were taken by taking their temperature and passing through the disinfection tunnel, everyone inside was required to wear a protective mask.

There were posters explaining what to do to protect yourself from disinfectants and the coronavirus throughout the establishment.

Çetin Özdemir: “We have taken all the necessary precautions”

Veliefendi racecourse manager Çetin Özdemir noted that they have taken all necessary precautions against the spread of Covid-19.

In his statement, Özdemir wished mercy to citizens who lost their lives due to the coronavirus and patience to their loved ones. Çetin Özdemir thanked healthcare workers who are fighting the virus.

Referring to the measures taken, Özdemir said: “As Jockey Club of Turkey, we have taken all necessary precautions against the spread of the virus since March 11, when the first case of coronavirus was announced in Turkey. We start our races tomorrow without compromising these measures that we have taken.” used the phrases.


Horse racing suspended due to coronavirus outbreak reopens

Gökhan Kocakaya: “We have been looking forward to this day since the day it was postponed”

Gökhan Kocakaya, who was the jockey who won the most races last year, said they were looking forward to the first race.

Explaining that the Jockey Club of Turkey (TJK) took all precautions from day one, Kocakaya said, “Necessary measures such as social distancing and isolation were taken. We continued our training taking precautions from day one. It is shortly before the start of our races. Our preparations are complete. We are waiting for the start to be postponed. We have been looking forward to this day with enthusiasm since day one. The big day is approaching. he said .

Experienced jockey, who said they continued to train even though there were no races, said: “We carried on with our normal life except there were no races. We have continued our studies taking the necessary precautions. Meanwhile, we continued with the preparations as if it were tomorrow. We took the necessary precautions from day one. There was no reason not to hold the races “Time took a little longer, but in the end, it’s all about human health. We also play by the rules.” made his assessment.


Unforgettable ex-jockey Süleyman Akdı, nicknamed “The Emperor”, said that the races could not take place for about 3 months due to the coronavirus, and said: “Today is our New Year’s Eve and “We will have a vacation on Wednesday. I wish you safe and trouble-free races in the name of riding. In this process, our riders have faced great difficulties. I hope we will be on Wednesday,” he said.

Horse racing suspended due to coronavirus outbreak reopens

Armağan Turhan: “We passed the virus”

TJK Core Member, Horse Owner, Breeder and Technical Director Armağan Turhan said they successfully handled the coronavirus issue with the precautions they took as an equine community.

Speaking to the AA Correspondent, Turhan said:


“This process seemed to have gone on for years. We are one of the few institutions to have taken every precaution from day one. We could not see the importance we have in most places. The long duration of this period has hurt All of us. The races have been canceled but the work here has not been canceled. Our horses have been out, walked. As grooms, trainers and horse owners, we have successfully fought the virus “Now people’s eyes are bright. God willing, we will start tomorrow. TJK Board and our Chairman Serdal Adalı have made a strong effort during the pandemic process. I hope it will happen again in from now on. We don’t experience anything like that.

Stressing the importance of state support during the pandemic process, Turhan said, “We had difficulties in all respects, but we tried to hide them. Our riders were in a difficult economic situation. Help came by horse. help, but we said, “Thank God for that.” 500 lire was paid. I think we saved this company somehow. made his assessment.


Trainer Mutlu Balyemez explained their one-day work system and said, “Our horses start working at 4:10 a.m. Our work is almost done at 10:00 a.m. We get back to our horses at 3:30 p.m. We go for a ride. Our day ends at 7 p.m. used the sentences.

Recalling that the races stopped on March 20, Balyemez said: “There is a very serious problem that the world is struggling with. We have not been able to race for about 80 days. We did not know when we would start. this process, so we tried to keep our horses in shape by slowing down the training a bit more. When the weather is clear, we tried to keep our horses in their best shape. We fought for it. expressed an opinion .

Horse racing suspended due to coronavirus outbreak reopens

Ali Kayakit: “It’s love and affection”

Ali Kayakit, who has been talking about horse racing for many years and now follows horse training at the racetrack and keeps a stopwatch, said horse racing is a different kind of love.

Noting that he has been in this business for almost 40 years, Kayakıt said, “I gave a lecture for a while. Previously, we used to watch the horses from the bleachers. At the moment, we are monitoring their situation in terms of performance. “It’s love and affection. Horse racing is something else. Not everyone knows that. Not everyone can know the degrees of horses with stopwatches. “We follow. We absolutely need it to be able to evaluate and make selections. When we bring together the degrees of the horses that will run in the same race, we determine which is the best in terms of performance.” used the phrases.

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