France – Horse-racing returns to France with ParisLongchamp meetingBy Phil - 14 May 2020
Horse racing returned to France on May 11 with a behind-closed doors meeting at ParisLongchamp following an eight week suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Other sport in France remains suspended but racing has been given the all-clear after discussions with government officials.
Gérald Darmanin, Minister of Action and Public Accounts and Didier Guillaume, Minister of Agriculture, said they supported a ‘successful gradual resumption of horse racing as part of the deconfinement’ and have ‘proposed a device to support the treasury of the institution, assumed equally by the State, on the one hand, and the PMU and the parent companies, on the other.’
“There are 21,000 socio-professionals who live by it,” said the two ministers, “including 9,000 owners and 8,000 breeders in addition to trainers and jockeys, and who rely on 13,500 sales outlets (tobacconists, bars, press, etc.) for taking bets, distributed throughout France.”
The presidents of the parent companies, France Galop and Le Trot, as well as the leaders of the Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) meet to ‘discuss the economic consequences of the health crisis on the sector, the conditions for a gradual resumption of racing and the support mechanisms that the State has already put in place and those that it could provide in the coming months.’
In addition, in order to support the treasury of the horse racing institution during the health crisis, the State authorised the PMU to postpone and spread over time the payment to the State budget of part of the specific levies on the issues horse racing within the framework of a support system for the treasury of the institution assumed on an equal basis with the parent companies. The State, the parent companies and the PMU agree to set up regular monitoring of the sector’s financial trajectory during the gradual resumption of activity. ” “Solidarity,” the ministers added, “will be at the heart of this recovery, from the State vis-à-vis the racing institution, the PMU vis-à-vis fragile outlets, parent companies vis-à-vis vis-à-vis socio-professionals in fragility and the horse racing sector for the attention of other sectors of the horse industry, in particular through the pursuit of the Eperon fund. This is a first point of situation. The ministers have in fact agreed with the presidents of the parent companies and the PMU leaders to redo a point, once the races are restarted and with a more precise visibility on the financial trajectory of the sector. “