April 2020 was different. April is supposed to be a month of changeable weather, when the Czech horseracing season springs into action after a long break due to wintry weather.
Tomáš Hurt, who rode seven times in the Velka Pardubicka, has died suddenly at the age of 38. His biggest success as a rider was when he finished second on Decent Fellow behind Sixteen in the 2007 Velka Pardubicka. He gave up riding some years ago, and became a successful trainer, based at Benešov.
The government of the Czech Republic has approved rules for winding down the extra-ordinary measures, as from May 11th. These include holding horse races, with a maximum of 100 people participating. The State of Emergency will come to an end on May 17th.
March 2020 was the month when the coronavirus burst into the headlines and ended up totally disrupting our lives. The Czech government was very quick to take action and to restrict the risk of spreading the virus. Coronavirus entered the country mainly via northern Italy, which is for obvious reasons a very attractive destination for skiing. And skiing and other winter sports are very popular in the Czech Republic.
On March 12th, the Czech Republic was the first country in Europe to announce a state of emergency and special measures aimed at reducing and regulating the impacts of the coronavirus epidemic. According to Czech law, a state of emergency can be announced for a maximum of 30 days, after which it may be renewed.
February 2020 in the Czech Republic was extraordinarily mild, like the entire winter until now. There was just a little snow in Prague at the end of the month, but nothing that had not thawed by mid morning. Plenty of nights were frost-free, and afternoon and evening temperatures were mostly well above zero.
January 2020 was a month without snow here in Prague. Maybe you will tell me that a few flakes fell in the middle of the night, somewhere in the middle of the month, but they did not settle, and I did not see any traces of them when I went out in the morning. There was quite frequent moderate rainfall, but little ice formation. Very little grit seems to have been used on the streets of Prague, maybe none at all so far this winter.
Winnings from races abroad play a very major role in the budgets of Czech and Czech-registered owners.
Václav Janáček (photo) has won his sixth champion jockeyʼs title in Spain, after missing out last year. Before going to Spain, Janáček dominated the Czech championship. He was our flat jockeysʼ champion from 2006 until 2010. In 2009, he rode 84 winners here, smashing the previous record, which had been 48 winners. The following year, he also rode 84 winners, winning both the Czech championship and the Slovak championship.