NEXT week's Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale and May Store Sale have been postponed until August.
The sales were expected to attract a significant number of visitors from Britain but, with the Government still asking international arrivals to self-isolate for two weeks, the sales company felt it had no option but to delay the auction by a month.
A statement issued by Tattersalls Ireland on Thursday morning said: "It is with regret that, owing to continued Covid-19 related travel restrictions in Ireland, Tattersalls Ireland has taken the decision to postpone the Derby and May Store Sales which were due to take place from Tuesday to Thursday, July 14th-16th.
"It is intended that the Derby and May Store Sales will now take place at Tattersalls Ireland in Ratoath on August 11th-13th, prevailing Government regulations permitting."
Tattersalls Ireland CEO Matt Mitchell added: "Despite every effort being made to give all the normal participants an opportunity to attend the sales next week it became clear during the course of yesterday that the current obstacles in our way are insurmountable.
"It was reconfirmed that all attendees; be they vendors, purchasers or employees who were due to arrive in Ireland from the UK are required to self-isolate for 14 days without exception and therefore their attendance at the sale would not be possible.
"The extremely difficult decision to postpone the Derby and May Sales has been made in the context of the unprecedented and unpredictable Covid-19 related circumstances and in the best interests of our vendors, purchasers and staff.
"We are very conscious of the impact that this decision will have on our valued clients, but we are also at all times mindful of our wider social responsibilities and the prevailing Government guidelines.
"Many businesses in Ireland who are dependent on international customers have faced the very same issues and we will continue to explore every avenue that will allow sales to take place in Ireland as soon as the current restrictions have been eased.
"We must all hope that the outlook improves, and at this stage it is our intention to hold our flagship Derby and May Store Sales in Ireland on Tuesday to Thursday, August 11th-13th, as our first preference, or in the UK on those dates if necessary. Revised dates for the August National Hunt Sale will be announced in due course."
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