few face masks seen during the return of the Kentucky Derby – fr

few face masks seen during the return of the Kentucky Derby – fr

Masks were, according to the Derby website, mandatory at all times unless someone was eating or drinking, and social distancing was encouraged

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The Kentucky Derby has returned to its regular weekend time slot, after being delayed for several months last year due to COVID-19, with extravagant hats, controversy involving a Dubai-owned horse – and a few masks facial.

Last year was the only time, except 1945, when the race was delayed; the 147th iteration on Saturday made sure that didn’t turn into a two-year streak.

Held every year on the first Saturday in May, in Louisville, the derby is one of the world’s leading horse racing events. He was immortalized by Hunter S. Thompson, who memorably said he was “decadent and depraved,” with tens of thousands of people, “most of them drunk,” in attendance.

“It’s a fantastic scene – thousands of people pass out, cry, mate, stomp and fight with broken whiskey bottles,” Thompson wrote.

Photos from the 2021 edition show that it didn’t go that far.

The spectators were, theoretically, spaced on the benches to watch the races. Fascinators, straw hats and seersucker costumes were on display, just like in other years. Alcohol was still sprayed on the brightly dressed participants in the infield of Churchill Downs as people celebrated their victories.

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But, notably absent in many cases, were the masks, reported The Guardian, a British newspaper.

“We’re out there, I feel like it’s not that big of a deal,” Sydney Lowe of Columbus, Ohio, told The Guardian.

Masks were, according to the Derby website, mandatory at all times unless someone was eating or drinking, and social distancing was encouraged. More than 6,500 people have died in Kentucky as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the state’s website.

Some photos from the event show people wearing “mask required” signs encouraging participants to put on their masks.

One man, Mark Ferguson of Dallas, Texas, wore a COVID-19 suit, with a hat shaped like a virus that said “vaccinated.”

Also, the event was not as big as in previous years. About 50,000 people were expected on Saturday, up from 170,000 spectators in 2015, according to Newsweek. The Derby allowed 15,000 people onto the field, the Louisville Courier Journal reported, and photos suggest there was minimal social distancing.

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But, beyond concerns about COVID-19 and the arrest of four protesters at a Black Lives Matter protest in Louisville – one sign read “No justice, no derby” – the big controversy was about the owner. one of the favorite horses, The Associated Press reported.

We’re outside, I feel like it’s not that bad

Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, owns one of the horses that had been favored for racing, Essential Quality, and human rights activists had demanded that the horse not be allowed to run, citing human rights violations – including allegations Al-Maktum kidnapped boys for use as slaves in camel races, and the disappearance of his daughter, which he allegedly orchestrated.

In this case, Essential Quality finished fourth after determining that the horse would be allowed to race.

But, across the continent, in the small town of Bowden, Alta., Another outdoor sporting event sparked controversy over the weekend.

“It is disappointing that the organizers ignored this information and continued with their event, knowing that this was a flagrant violation of current public health restrictions,” said a statement from the Alberta Health Services provided. at rdnewsNOW, local media.

The Rodeo / Rally No More Lockdowns was held near Bowden, best known for its medium security prison, on Saturday and Sunday. Some 2,000 people attended, according to reports.

“We will not stand idly by and watch not only our businesses, but also our Western heritage and, more importantly, our basic human rights, being torn apart by the tyrannical beings of our present world,” said Northcott, the organizer. of the rodeo. Rodeo Inc.

CTV News reported seeing only one mask worn at the event.

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