The Japan Jockey Club has announced support measures for those impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 via a charity fundraiser which will see JPY 1,000 (US$9.30) donated for every ride by every jockey in any of the Japan Racing Association (JRA) race.
Based on last year’s results, this is expected to raise approximately JPY 47 million (US$437,000), with the exact beneficiary of the charity to be decided by the Jockey Club at a future date.
The JRA is continuing to operate, albeit without spectators, in the wake of Japan’s state of emergency measures. Bets are taken only over the phone or online, and year-on-year sales remain at 80% of normal levels.
President of the Jockey Club, Yutaka Take, said, “I sincerely hope that all of our everyday lives can return to normal soon. We will continue to make every effort to keep horse racing going.”
Five JRA staff are confirmed to have been infected by COVID-19, although none has been a jockey or trainer.
Part of the JRA’s annual sales are held as a national treasury payment, which amounted to around JPY 320 billion last year. Horse racing is expected to play an important role in financial support for the novel coronavirus crisis, as well as providing much-needed entertainment for the public on weekends.