21/03/2020. GOFFS & GOFFS UK – COVID 19, Update 20th March // French Breeding Season Approved To Continue // Bouquetot To Close Breeding Shed //


GOFFS & GOFFS UK – COVID 19, Update 20th March
At Goffs we are following the advice and direction of the authorities in Ireland and the UK in relation to COVID 19 (coronavirus) precautions, with our primary focus being on the health and wellbeing of our staff and clients.

Please note that while Goffs has implemented a Work From Home policy and protocol, we are continuing with business as usual and our teams are equipped to work from home with connectivity to our databases, email etc. The physical Goffs offices in Kildare and the UK will remain closed until further notice, with the situation being monitored and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

For the time being the Goffs Teams can be contacted via email and mobile, details of which are on a link on the homepages of the Goffs and Goffs UK websites – www.goffs.com and www.goffsuk.com .

As things stand we are planning for our sales to go ahead as scheduled but will, of course, monitor events and take advice and direction from the authorities as the situation evolves. However, whilst we cannot predict the future, we wanted to let you, our valued clients, know how we are addressing the problems presented and how we are planning in the short and medium term:

Yearling Sales – Doncaster Premier & Goffs Orby
Nominations should be returned to Goffs and Goffs UK on-line so that inspections can be arranged in due course. When stud visits commence our teams will follow strict protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of our clients and staff.

The Aintree Sale:
Cancelled due to the cancellation of the Randox Health Grand National Meeting.  However we are working on alternatives to market and sell top class Point to Pointers and HIT, and will contact potential vendors in due course.

Doncaster Breeze-Up Sale: 22-23 April
As things stand we plan to go ahead. In any event we will not make any finite decision until Monday 30 March when we will review the situation at which time we will decide whether we need to delay the sale or can proceed as originally scheduled. However, to be clear, the 2020 Doncaster Breeze-Up Sale will be held and the only issue is when.

Punchestown Sale: 30 April
As with Aintree, this sale depends on whether The Punchestown Festival takes place. We will react accordingly and in consultation with the Punchestown Executive.

Doncaster Spring Sale: 18-21 May
Stores: entry forms should be returned to Goffs UK and the catalogue will be published on 15 April
HIT/P2Pers: entries can be made in the usual way via the Goffs UK website – www.goffsuk.com .
Entries close on 20 April. Should the Aintree and/or Punchestown Sales not be held those entries will be accommodated at Doncaster.

Goffs Land Rover Sale: 9 - 10 June
Entry forms should be returned to Goffs and the catalogue will be online on 1 May

Future Sales: 
Further updates will be posted and communicated in due course and depending on what happens. However Goffs are technologically equipped to conduct our business in a variety of ways including utilising our new on-line sales facility that may be deployed in a broader and more comprehensive manner than to date.

I hope the above is helpful but please do not hesitate to contact any of the Goffs Teams if you have any queries or concerns. For the time being, like so many, we would encourage everyone to follow the advice of the authorities and to stay safe.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Group Chief Executive


French Breeding Season Approved To Continue


Leading French sire Siyouni. The Ministry of Agriculture has permitted the French breeding season to continue | Bronwen Healy

French breeders were given the go-ahead on Friday evening to continue with their season, with the Ministry of Agriculture approving an extensive list of protocols drawn up by veterinarians and breeding industry experts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 while transporting mares and while at the breeding shed. The breeding season had been under threat in light of the country’s government-mandated lockdown, and earlier on Friday Haras de Bouquetot, home of last year’s leading first-crop yearling sire by average, Shalaa, announced it would close its breeding shed for two weeks.

Those that contributed to writing the protocols include veterinary advisors to France Galop and LeTROT; representatives of the AVEF, IFCE and the Societe Hippique Francaise; and Camille Vercken, founder of equine biosecurity consultancy Equiways.

“The continuation of the breeding season is an absolute necessity for the players in the horse industry, whether for breeders or stallion owners,” said EFTBA President Loic Malivet. “So the industry had to come together to propose solutions allowing the continuation of breeding in absolute respect of the rules of hygiene and security facing COVID-19. These steps also respond to the call of the President of the Republic, who [wishes] to maintain economic activity in France despite the particularly painful circumstances that our country is going through today.”

Malivet continued, “The EFTBA calls on all professionals in the sector to act responsibly and apply [the protocols] immediately. We are of course available to inform and support breeders and stallion owners.”

The protocols include the submission of all paperwork-including a signed copy of the protocols–related to the covering electronically before arrival at the stallion farms; having just one person with the mare and having that person stay in the vehicle at all times; leaving foals at home as much as possible, and not stopping to or from the run to the breeding shed except in case of emergency. Any equipment (headcollars, lead ropes, chip readers, etc.) used on mares in the breeding shed should be disinfected between each use. In the case of non-compliance with instructions by a mare owner, the stallion farm may refuse her. The protocol advises that farms that cannot follow the protocols should cease operations. The full list of protocols can be found here.

The statement released by the EFTBA on Friday does not touch on the directive issued earlier in the week by The Ordre National des Veterinaires and AVEF (Association Veterinary Equine France) to veterinarians to cease any non-emergency reproductive procedures in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.


Bouquetot To Close Breeding Shed


Al Shaqab’s Haras de Bouquetot in Normandy, home to eight stallions including the much-anticipated first-season sire Shalaa (Ire), will close the doors of its breeding shed beginning on Monday “for at least two weeks” as a means to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The stud said on a statement on its website on Friday that coverings already booked through Sunday will be honored, but no new bookings will be taken.

A statement on the Al Shaqab Racing website read, “Fully aware of the economical impact this decision may have on breeders, our priority remains the health and safety of our staff and clients, considering the gravity of this crisis and in accordance with all drastic measures recently taken across Europe.”

France came under a government-mandated lockdown on Tuesday. On Monday, the authorities for both flat racing and trotters in France collaborated to announce a complete shutdown of racing through Apr. 15. The breeding season has thus far been permitted to continue, with the ministry of agriculture having approved strict protocols later on Friday.

In addition to Shalaa, who was Europe’s leading first-crop sire by average at the yearling sales last year, Bouquetot is home to Olympic Glory (Ire) and Toronado (Ire); G1 Investec Derby winner Ruler of the World (Ire), who is standing his first season in France this year; as well as Al Wukair (Ire), Ectot (GB), Mekhtaal (Fr) and Zelzal (Fr).

by TDN