Face masks and empty paddocks: how racing returned from coronavirus in Germany

POSTED ON  |  17-05-2020

Racing in Germany
Hanover racecourse in the north of Germany is far from being one of Europe's most famous tracks but on Thursday it captured the attention of the racing world. While many European racing bodies are cautiously planning how the sport can resume and recover from the shutdown following the coronavirus, it was Deutscher Galopp who made the first step towards restoring some form of normality.  

In the blazing sun but with empty stands, racing staff returned to day-to-day life on the racecourse while wearing face masks and maintaining a distance from each other whenever possible. Many of the jockeys even had colour-coded masks to match their hat and silks.

Horses circle the parade ring, but nobody is watching. The runners enjoy a series of cracking finishes across the day but there is no sound to roar them home. The sport had all the sparkle we have been craving for – and it delivered – but unfortunately racing's jovial atmosphere will remain on pause.

Jockeys keep on facemasks, goggles and helmets while grooms keep their mouths covered for the post-race photo. The two are almost awkwardly distanced with the winning horse in the middle as it is taken. The winning picture will probably not be framed on many mantelpieces.

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