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Friday, 18 January, 2019

Gulfstream cancels programme as Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida

Gulfstream Park: battered by Hurricane Irma
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Racing at Gulfstream Park in Florida has been cancelled until next week and horses have been transported away from the area as Hurricane Irma closed in on the state's main racecourse on Friday.

Stables were made available at the Palm Meadows Training Centre in Palm Beach, an hour north of the Miami track, to provide shelter from the storm for around 250 horses.

Racing has been scheduled to resume on September 13 following the storm, which has devastated parts of the Caribbean.

"Obviously, our first priority is the safety of our patrons and our equine athletes,” said PJ Campo, general manager of Gulfstream Park and vice president of racing for the Stronach Group.

"Horsemen are being given the option to keep their horses at Gulfstream, Gulfstream Park West or move to our training facility at Palm Meadows in Palm Beach."

The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said all stalls had been taken at Palm Meadows but attempts would be made to accommodate all that needed help, while half of horsemen had opted to keep their horses in and around Gulfstream.

The group's president Bill White predicted the consequences of Irma could be severe, telling the Bloodhorse: "It is so widespread and monstrous that most of Florida will receive hurricane-force winds one way or another. If this happens the way they predict, Florida won't be the same for a long, long time."

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If this happens the way they predict, Florida won't be the same for a long, long time

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