Horse races also suffer from the corona virus: “Hoping for a beautiful summer, but in vain” – Society

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For the first time since World War II, there is no Waregem Koerse and in August all horse races run behind closed doors. What normally should have been an excellent summer turned into a fiasco for the horse races in Waregem.

The outlook this summer, like every year, was to die for. Every Sunday, horse lovers should enjoy themselves with countless galloping and trotting races at the Hippodrome. With the absolute highlight Waregem Koerse on Tuesday September 1. Only the corona virus put a stop to this and we will not see any crazy hats and exciting duels at the Gaverbeek this year. The current situation also has serious consequences for the trotting and canter season.

The outlook this summer, like every year, was to die for. Every Sunday, horse lovers should enjoy themselves with countless galloping and trotting races at the Hippodrome. With the absolute highlight Waregem Koerse on Tuesday September 1. Only the corona virus put a stop to this and we will not see any crazy hats and exciting duels at the Gaverbeek this year. The current situation also has serious consequences for the trot and canter season. While a maximum of 400 spectators were allowed to attend in July, Waregem Draaft – which organizes the races – decided to have everything take place behind closed doors from 3 August. A choice with consequences. “Last summer there were about 800 spectators on a normal racing day, with 1,500 and 2,000 people as the absolute highlights”, says Lieven Lannoo, chairman of Waregem Draaft. “It is therefore a huge difference to suddenly organize everything without spectators.” Yet it was a conscious choice not to allow any more spectators. “Normally this month, in addition to all the entourage and the owners of the horses, 200 spectators were allowed in. That was a hopeless task. We would be allowed to let some people in, others not. But we would disappoint so many people. In addition, we wanted to also show our goodwill to the government and we hope that everything can continue as usual. “You don’t have to tell Lieven that corona has put a lot of spanner in the works. “The current situation is very difficult for us, but of course we are not alone. We are mainly suffering from a financial point of view, because we now generate almost no income. In addition, our expenses remain roughly the same. For example, we still pay the same prize money as the previous years, because otherwise there is not much for the jockeys and owners. ” Despite the corona crisis, Lieven Lannoo thought to be able to make something of this summer. “We had all hoped for a good summer. We decided to take over some trotting races, which would normally be held in Ostend, to make it even more attractive for the spectators, but that turned out completely differently. very unfortunate. I hope that everything will be back to normal soon. In the long term, this situation is untenable for us. “Normally, the season runs from Waregem to Waregem Koerse. But since the highlight of the year has been canceled, the organization has decided to continue until September 13. (Arnaud Voet)

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