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Woodbine Paddock – Update for Horse People

October 8, 2020

As we move in to the fall season, we would like to review our Race Day COVID Protocols as well as address some new protocols.  Due to the recent rise in COVID cases in the Toronto area, we cannot let down our guard, and the health and safety of our horse people and Woodbine employees is of the utmost importance to us.

We continue to welcome Owners, based on public health guidelines for gatherings.  Please forward this email along to any Owners to help us communicate all safety protocols below. 

We have highlighted a few points specific to your visit to the Grandstand on Race Day.

While some have been in effect all season, there are some new additions this fall season.

  • Travel time to the front side for Trainers will be increased as access is restricted to exit at the East stable gate and travel to the horse person’s parking area. When saddling a horse, allow for 15 minutes minimum to drive, park and clear through Security Checkpoint.
  • One Trainer, Assistant (if needed) and one Groom may accompany each entry into the Paddock. We will not allow more than 3 people per horse in the saddling paddock/viewing area. Those people not needed to saddle or help with a horse will be asked to move to the paddock viewing area.
  • If you would like another trainer or valets to saddle your horse, please contact Julia Bell or Martha Wakely 24 to 48 hours before race day to set up.
  • All participants will undergo a screening before entering the Paddock/Jock’s Room area at a designated check point.
  • Wearing a mask/face covering CORRECTLY over the nose and mouth is mandatory at all times – Trainers, Grooms, Jockeys and Woodbine Racing officials.
  • Trainers, Assistants, Grooms and Jockeys must practice physical distancing as much as possible when saddling, giving instructions and mounting.
  • It is recommended that instructions be given via mobile or text before racing whenever possible.
  • Woodbine Grandstand Apron will be open ONLY during live racing for Trainers, Owners and Grooms to wait, socially distanced. (All seating and box areas will remain closed).  There is a tent and picnic tables on the apron available while viewing race.
  • Trainers, Owners and Grooms to access the Apron via the stairs/ramp at the west end of the grandstand to watch the race in designated area. Apron will be cleared after every race.
  • Trainers ONLY may access apron via the Grandstand Tunnel, while physically distanced.
  • Owners and Trainers wishing to access the Apron while there horse is saddled in the paddock, must wait until the Apron is cleared of the previous race. OWNERS AND TRAINERS MAY ONLY ACCESS THE APRON AFTER THEIR HORSES HAVE LEFT THE SADDLING AREA AND GONE OUT FOR POST PARADE.
  • Trainers without an entry in the current race may wait along the West end of the Grandstand outside of the saddling enclosure.
  • Trainers entering a Claim will be permitted entry at Gate 10 and must follow all guidelines. They may see horses as they walk along the entryway, enter paddock to place claim and return to outside area. Trainers claiming will no longer be able to stay inside Paddock viewing area.
  • The Bookkeeper’s Office is open live racing hours BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please make sure to email Frank Courtney at
  • Woodbine Grandstand building will be closed to all participants and there are NO food or beverage services until further notice and further direction from the Province.
  • A coffee truck will service the paddock area during live racing, located north of the saddling area.
  • Owners and their Guests will continue to book their Restaurant and Apron access via the following link
  • Owners will no longer be able to access the interior paddock and viewing area. They will have to stay outside of the paddock while their horse is being saddled and view their horse along the walking path en route to the track.

We would like to thank all participants for your understanding as we continue to work together to keep everyone healthy, safe and racing through the remainder of the Woodbine Meet.

Karl Lagerborg
Woodbine Entertainment
Senior Manager, Racing Operations
O: 416-675-3993 press 1 2414
C: 416-434-7093