Canadian Jockeys Protest Abandons First Race

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Yesterday saw a big protest by jockeys riding at Canada's famous Woodbine racecourse over the condition of the racing surface. This saw the first race cancelled in Toronto with uproar from multiple parties about the state of the turf.

A statement was released by Woodbine racecourse which stated that the jockeys protested "continued turf racing for the rest of the year." However there was no scheduled turf racing on the Wednesday but according to the statement Woodbine have now moved there next turf meetings scheduled for Novemeber 16th-18th onto the Tapeta.

Executive director of the Jockeys' Benefit Association of Canada, called the turf course "frozen" and explained his disappointment as to what happened yesterday.

(Credit Racing Post) Robert King Jnr said: "It's 26 degrees Fahrenheit here and our turf is frozen.

"Last Saturday the jockeys said it was dangerous and didn't want to ride, so they took it off the turf. Then they coerced the jockeys to ride on Sunday, and after one race sure enough the riders had to cancel again. Nothing has changed.

"There's frozen spots and soft spots. Horses are stumbling and having a difficult time getting over the course."

The first race of the meeting in Canada, after a significant delay was cancelled and the horses were redirected to the saddling area for a long period of time whilst the jockeys met with the course management to express there concerns.

The second race of the day went ahead in the end but nearly 45 minutes after it's original start time of 7:16, going off at 7:57.

(Credit Racing Post) King added: "My apologies to those people, first and foremost – owners, horsemen, grooms, and anyone involved.

"We're trying to be proactive. It's no way to run a business, like this. Why are we doing this when we know they're coming off the turf? Our thought was, we have to deal with this now, because we keep telling them."

Woodbine racecourse in their statement that they released did not officially mention what the problem with the turf course was but they were clear that turf racing will carry on in the coming months.

(Credit Racing Post) Woodbine Said:"The Woodbine management team will deliberate on the continued turf racing for the remainder of the season."

King the added to this: "We're hopeful that they come to their senses.

"It's a dangerous game and these guys and girls risk their lives. If they say it's unsafe, that's all I need to hear.

"We're in Canada for Christ sake. There's snow on the ground. I need to go home and shovel."

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