Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott are preparing to welcome 25 to 30 horses back into the stable over the coming week, following the COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand.
Wexford will look to gradually build from an initial winter team when training resumes on Tuesday as New Zealand comes out of a full Alert level 4 lockdown due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
“There is a little bit of uncertainty out there, but we will bring back the horses that don’t mind getting their feet wet when they’re out there racing and a few of the young ones that we are educating,” O’Sullivan said.
“We are still not in any great hurry at the moment, but we will start to get them in from Tuesday."
The New Zealand racing industry is responsible for generating more than $1.6 billion in value-added contribution to the New Zealand economy.
In total, there are in excess of 58,100 individuals who participate in the New Zealand racing industry as employees, participants or volunteers and O’Sullivan believes the government needs to assist the industry to maintain a large volume of jobs.
“Like everybody else, I am very hopeful,” he said.
“The hardest part is that with everything that has happened and the government having to shove out money for wages, I just hope that someone is there to give the racing industry some money so that we have some stakes to actually race for.
“I think that’s the biggest question. When we do come back, what are the stakes going to actually look like and whether it is actually viable to be honest.”
O’Sullivan has relished the break from racing, putting the time to good use maintaining his farm. “It has been great,” he said. “We’ve had some really good family time and we have been able to achieve a few things outside of the racing game."