MADRID (AP) — A person slips a chunk of paper with the title Sophie Linda on it below the teller’s window. The younger girl on the opposite aspect inspects the paper and disinfects a wad of money earlier than passing the cash to the fortunate gambler.
It’s the top of the day at Madrid´s Zarzuela Racecourse, time for the horses to be stabled and for jockeys to place away their whips, harnesses, boots and different gear.
The pandemic could have altered many habits, however racing on the Spanish monitor has modified little.
“Luckily, we have now numerous house,” mentioned Guillermo Arizkorreta, a racehorse coach with loads of successful expertise.
Like different actions, races at Zarzuela ceased when the federal government imposed a nationwide lockdown throughout Spain’s first coronavirus outbreak in March.
After most blanket restrictions have been lifted in Might, the racecourse applied infection-control procedures in step with the nation’s so-called “new normality.” Adhesive tape marks out areas within the stands to make sure the lowered variety of spectators allowed in preserve the right distance from one another. Masks are required, jockeys bear exams for the virus, and the cash handed in as bets and out as winnings will get sprayed all the way down to take away germs.
On this means, Spain’s horse racing trade has managed to remain afloat regardless that 2020 has confirmed disastrous for the nation’s financial system usually, with tourism and hospitality among the many sectors struggling badly.
“We’ve observed a generational change” in spectators, Victoria Barderas, the top of promoting and communications on the Zarzuela course, mentioned. “Many older individuals are staying at house, and youthful individuals are coming.”
José Luis Martínez, 50, knowledgeable jockey for the previous three a long time and a winner of one of many day’s races, says fewer horses are competing owing to the general public well being disaster. He says not with the ability to race in the course of the spring lockdown diminished his eagerness to coach.
“My work, my hopes, disappeared utterly,” Martinez mentioned.
The jockey says it was necessary to get again to racing in order that the aggressive spirit of horses didn’t wane.
On the earth of horse racing, as in lots of areas of life, “these on the backside at all times undergo greater than these above them,” he mentioned. “However we have now to go on.”
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