Fuel Crisis Could Impact British Racing

The growing fuel crisis in Britain has led to cancellation of Thursday racing at Pontefract, W. Hobbs, and could cause more problems for British racing. Pontefract's clerk of the course Norman Gundill reported Thursday's program was cancelled after the track's ambulance service reported it could not have vehicles available due to the gasoline shortage.

According to published reports, the cost of gasoline is soaring and fuel is becoming scarce in England.

"They told me that they did not see any prospect of being able to provide us with the ambulances we need to stage tomorrow's meeting," Gundill said, according to the Racing Post. "We explored the possibility of using other services but we were advisedby the Jockey Club and the Racecourse Association that the others might not be up the necessary standard. I've got to agree with the advice as safety is paramount. The whole thing is regrettable and we're going to lose money out of it. We hung on aslong as possible but in the end we had no alternative."

The Post reported that Thursday meets at Ayr and Yarmouth were scheduled to be run without interruption. The publication said the British Horseracing Board and Jockey Club are monitoring the situation by maintaining regular contact with the racecourses. Other tracks could face problems if the fuel crisis continues, the newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, the fuel problem did not seem to have an effect on the ability of trainers to transport their horses to tracks, although track officials said there was a likelihood of smaller crowds at he race meets, according to the Post.