Irish jockey Shane Crosse tests positive for Covid-19
18-year-old is the first rider in Ireland to test positive and will miss Champions Weekend
Shane Crosse with Plough Boy in the parade ring after winning at Fairyhouse in June. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Champion apprentice jockey Shane Crosse has become the first rider in Ireland to test positive for coronavirus.
Under the protocols he undertook in order to be able to ride in Saturday’s Doncaster St Leger, Crosse returned a positive test.
The 18-year-old, who is apprenticed to trainer Joseph O’Brien, was unable to ride at Limerick on Friday and will not team up with Galileo Chrome in the Leger. He won’t be able to ride for two weeks.
Dr Jennifer Pugh, IHRB Senior Medical Officer, said: “Shane was completely asymptomatic and was very surprised to learn of the test result. He was not unwell and hadn’t engaged in any high-risk behaviour. He is now in isolation for 14 days and has worked with us on identifying his close contacts.
“We have been in communication with public health today, notified them of the test, and they are happy with the steps we have taken.
“It means that those who have shared a car with him, and those who live with Shane, have been informed they must also self-isolate for 14 days. As directed by public health, contact tracing commenced on Friday morning and testing will be carried out today of all close contacts of the index case.
“We have been prepared for this and have responded accordingly, and this case reinforces just why we have had such strict protocols in place since racing resumed on June 8th. These measures ensure that social distancing is taking place at racecourses, and face masks and coverings are mandatory both inside and outside.
“Shane is employed by trainer Joseph O’Brien and we have been working with Joseph this morning to provide contact tracing and testing of Shane’s close contacts. Joseph’s horses will run today as planned, but as a precaution these horses will be taken care of by staff from other yards.
“Public health are satisfied with our protocols and the measures we have taken, and for racing to continue under strict protocols behind closed doors.”
The positive test comes on the verge of Irish Champions Weekend which will take place behind closed doors at Leopardstown on Saturday and the Curragh on Sunday.
Crosse had been the intended jockey for a number of high-profile horses including the likely favourite Pretty Gorgeous in Sunday’s Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.
The teenager has been one of the rising stars of the Irish jockeys’ room in recent seasons.