The trotting races at Son Pardo hippodrome were allowed to go ahead last night after the Ministry for Agriculture lifted the foot-and-mouth ban on equestrian events, but yesterday the Mayor of Palma, Joan Fageda, announced that livestock will be banned from this month's Son Ferriol agricultural market. The Ministry for Agriculture actually reminded all regions of Spain about the foot-and-mouth ban on livestock gatherings yesterday and the Son Ferriol ban has come as a blow to the farming community. Fageda said yesterday that this year's fair, one of the most important of the year in Majorca, is due to be 5'000 square metres larger in order to meet demand, although now the extra space will not be needed when the five-day event starts on March 20. Organisers of the fair said that this year, instead, the emphasis will be on exotic animals and the fair will also feature an old car rally and a dog show which will include the Balearic Championship. Nevertheless, the organisers still expect around 125'000 people to visit the agricultural fair later this month. The horse racing community was pleased by the news, many trot fans arriving at the races yesterday said that the precautions introduced were comic.
Races were suspended last week, when the biggest race of the year, the Balearic Cup, should have been held, but Son Pardo still hit the headlines with police smashing a local betting syndicate.