Please note that as of March 25 2020, the Matamata Racing Club has made the decision to close its training facility for the next 14 days at least.

This follows the decision by a large majority of stables using the facility to cease normal operations, with minimal training activities having taken place in the past two days following the Government declaration initially of alert level-3 followed by alert level-4 from March 26 to manage the Covid-19 situation.

The MRC believes that in making this decision, it is taking its responsibilities seriously in the nationwide fight against Covid-19.

In discussions between MRC personnel and trainers using the facility, no issues have arisen over the need to source suitable agistment for any horses previously in training. This is a highly relevant point in assessing the need for the MRC to keep its facility operational, when aligned with the protocols released today by NZ Thoroughbred Racing following negotiations with the Ministry for Primary Industries.

The ruling by MPI in allowing this dispensation stipulates that training centres, training stables, agistment properties and stud farms where horses are in containment are considered essential services under animal welfare considerations.

In relation to that, the MRC believes no horses that may require use of its facilities come under that crucial animal welfare guideline.

In consideration of the health of all personnel, including its own employees, required to maintain the MRC training facility under the strict guidelines of the MPI directive, the MRC believes that it is justified in its decision to close training operations for the next 14 days.

That timeframe will allow the opportunity to assess developments in the nation’s fight against Covid-19 and the MRC will reconsider its position at the end of the 14-day stand-down period, that date being April 8.


Dennis Ryan
Chairman MRC