The Bretonnière racecourse, in Meslay-du-Maine (Mayenne), hosted its first races of the season on Friday May 21. Eight trotting races between 4.30 p.m. and 9 p.m. had been held in public: 800 individuals, together with 500 professionals occurred in the stands.
In the first row, “the little thrill”
The entire first race of the season began at 4.30 p.m. with 16 starters. Right in entrance, at the barrier, their prognosis sheet in hand, Lalou and his spouse wait, each feverishly, for the begin of the race. “Usually, we play in cafes, we watch TV but it’s not the same! It gives you a little shiver, when you see them next door and you bet on a horse!”
In the stands, binoculars screwed over his eyes, Jacques follows his horse. “There has to be a crowd at the races otherwise it’s sad, we’re just asking for that”. Just a little additional, newbie’s luck smiles on Celine, an Alsatian mom, on trip along with her household in a Mayenne campsite. She guess on the proper horse. “It feels good to get out, see people again and get back to normal life.”
Free entry to deliver the public again
David, he drove from Saint-Brieuc to see his horse compete. “We are happy to be able to make the trip. We have the right until 9 pm so we will be home on time. We know the entourage as we are with the trainer, the jockey, we live that 100%! We stroke the beast, we can touch it! “, he says, a broad smile behind his masks.
David’s gelding responds to the title of Famous Destiny: he hopes it is going to deliver him luck for the second of the eight races of the day. This first day with the public was provided free entry. “We did it for free because people have been deprived of it so much that we have to let them want to come back to the races”, explains Jean-Baptiste Bossuet, president of the Société des programs de la Bretonnière.
You have the viewers, it is a completely different ambiance than on tv
The return of the spectators is superb information for the president. “It’s as if you were organizing a football match and there was no one there. We did some shopping behind closed doors: you can chat with no one, there are only professionals, nothing pleasant . The races I like to watch them on Equidia too, but there you have the public, it’s a different atmosphere! ”
The president will observe the racetracks in the subsequent two weeks and hopes the public might be there. “The next two weeks I’m going to look at other racetracks to see how it’s going and then we’ll be able to find out if people have returned normally.”
Mask obligatory for all
The racecourse can solely accommodate 1,000 individuals due to the well being scenario. A strict protocol has been put in place with the sporting a masks obligatory for the public however jockeys and drivers should additionally put on a masks.
The 35% gauge will stay the similar throughout the subsequent deconfinement step June 9, she might go from 1,000 to 5,000 individuals most solely in case of implementation of a management through the sanitary go.
The horse racing season continues. The subsequent races in Mayenne will happen at Laval Friday May 28 then to Meslay-du-Maine Thursday June 3. Then it is going to be the flip of Craon racecourse to open its season Thursday June 17 with six flat races on the program.