Racing Resumes in Ireland Despite Outbreak

Racing in the Republic of Ireland resumed Monday at Leopardstown and Cork after a 50-day shutdown. The move came despite confirmation of a third outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease across the border in Northern Ireland.

Strict disinfectant procedures, similar to those implemented in Great Britain since the outbreak in which 1,337 cases had been confirmed through April 16, were drawn up by the Irish racing authorities and approved by the Irish Department of Agriculture.

All vehicles, people, and horses must be disinfected. Horses, like humans, are mechanical carriers of foot-and-mouth disease.

Irish racing is set to have its busiest month in May, when 39 fixtures are scheduled to try to make up for the loss of opportunities. The British Horseracing Board approved of 16 additional fixtures to partially compensate for the 158 lost through foot-and-mouth restrictions and a very wet winter.