Day At The Track

Dickies adapting to the Lockdown

12:25 PM 01 Apr 2020 NZDT
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Josh and John Dickie,Harness racing

by Dave Di Somma   

Like stables all around the country the Dickies have had to re-jig their operation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joshua Dickie though knows he’s one of the lucky ones.

“We have the luxury of being able to jog them from home.”

As the lockdown enters week two, trainers around the country have to adhere to guidelines as to what they can and cannot do.

Those guidelines stipulate :

“Trainers on their own property can continue to work their team and educate younger horses as long as the horses are already on the property and that no-one (employee, neighbour, friend etc.), has to travel to the property for this purpose”

And that’s what Dickie is doing at Rosslands Stud just out of Cleveland in South Auckland where he trains with his father John. Together they’ve produced more than 200 winners headlined by their former trotter of the year “Speeding Spur”.  

“It’s mainly early two year olds that we are doing at the moment”

Though numbers have halved in the last wee while.  

Dickie  : “At the moment we are doing 14,  10 days if not longer ago we had 28  horses so there are quite a few missing from the stable at the moment.

Before the coronavirus hit the 2020 season had seen Dickie chalk up his 400th winner, on “Madame Connoistre” at Cambridge on February 9.

Just when a return to the track will be possible is far from certain.  

“We are finding plenty of ways to fill our time,” he says, “Netflix, Playstation even Monopoly  – we’ve got into that.”

This is not Monopoly in the traditional sense, it’s Monopoly Deal played with a deck of 110 cards where players attempt to collect sets of cards representing properties of the original board game.

While Alert 4 is unsettling, he is  thinking big picture.

“Let’s just hope we can come through the other side and be a better nation for it.”

Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

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