An open letter of gratitude and reassurance from Racecourse CEO, Hazel Peplinski
With the wider situation around the pandemic and restrictions ever-changing, as evidenced in this week’s latest Scottish Government review led by the First Minister, there is still no certainty around when racegoers shall be deemed safe to enjoy live horse-racing once more. Given that we are setting out on a second season still clouded by uncertainty, the racecourse management feels it is essential to openly engage with our public and provide reassurance that we shall keep everyone as fully informed as possible every step of the way out of this lockdown.
One thing we can say with absolute conviction is how sincerely grateful we are to each and every person who has supported Perth and demonstrated extreme patience since the start of the pandemic. In short, every single ticket holder who has chosen to accept transfers rather than refunds – and continues to do so – has helped to ensure that Perth Racecourse is still standing. Add to that, the support of staff and suppliers, owners and trainers, annual members, sponsors, media, local and national government, it has been the combined effort of the full Perth community which enables us to look forward to the forthcoming season with a degree of confidence. Significantly, the Scottish Government Emergency Sports Funding, for which all five Scottish racecourses shall be beneficiaries, is a game changer in terms of Perth’s financial strategy to bridge the void in attendances since September 2019.
All we can ask of you today is for your continued support and patience. For all the planning we are undertaking as an independent racecourse, covering various scenarios and capacities that might transpire this season, we shall continue to follow government advice alongside that of our local authorities and the horse-racing governing bodies. With the next Scottish Government review scheduled in less than a fortnight, we shall continue to update you as the countdown to our season begins. With less than ten weeks before our opening April Festival (21-23rd) we shall keep you fully informed on when we shall be permitted to emerge from racing behind closed doors.
The pandemic is stretching everyone’s patience now, we continue to work extremely hard on your behalf in preparation for the new season and we are committing to making regular announcements as the government gradually brings the country out of lockdown.
We look forward to bringing you more positive news at the earliest opportunity because racegoers are the very essence of why we stage horse-racing, and your safe return cannot come soon enough.
Thank you for your continuing support, stay safe,
Hazel Peplinski, CEO, Perth Racecourse.