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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Hereford racecourse

Hereford could still potentially hold jumps meetings on an occasional basis next year with fixtures switched from other courses in the Arena Group.

The track's owners have applied to the British Horseracing Authority to renew its licence in 2013 despite the announcement in July that Hereford would cease trading at the end of the year.

Should the BHA approve the application then Hereford could stage abandoned meetings in the group that includes Worcester, Lingfield, Doncaster and Southwell, or put on an additional fixture any of their tracks might be unable to fulfil.

BHA spokesman Robin Mounsey said: "Their application will be considered and they will be informed in the next few weeks. If it is approved then the course can be used. It won't be allocated any fixtures in 2013, obviously, but the course can be used should there be cancellations.

"Moving cancelled fixtures there is an option, but if there are loads of fixture cancellations we sometimes put on additional fixtures.

"If the racecourses in the ARC group where we might allocate those fixtures aren't able to carry them because of turf management issues, and so forth, then it gives us an extra venue to potentially put one of those fixtures on.

"It's common sense and is for the benefit of the industry itself. Having Hereford as a back-up makes perfect sense. One of the aspects of their lease of the land is they have to keep it in good condition."

Arena believe it makes sense to keep Hereford on standby as they are still leasing the land from Herefordshire Council - but stress their decision to close the track has not changed.

"It's just a low-grade insurance policy. Nothing's changed," said Kate Hills, Arena's PR and communications director.

Hereford have just three scheduled jumps meetings left - on Thursday week, December 5 and 16.

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