The Kentucky Derby will run without jockeys at the historic Churchill Downs race track, due to rises in COVID-19 cases in the Louisville area.
The race, which is usually run in May, but was postponed this year until September 5 due to the pandemic, will be the first Triple Crown event in history not to include jockeys.
A spokesman said, "So as not to spread the virus, we have decided that jockeys will be banned from this year's race. The horses will run the course on their own. In all fairness, it's the horses who do most of the work anyway, so we are really just cutting out the middleman."
Some experts are now speculating that, in future, regardless of pandemics, all horse racing events may do away with jockeys.
"If all goes well on September 4th, then we may see a swing towards jockeyless racing. What the virus has taught us, is that there are some things that really are just not needed, and, I guess, tiny little angry men whipping horses fall into that category."
However, others are worried that jockeys, no longer able to race, will struggle to find other work.
"Lets face it," said one worried jockey, "apart from seasonal work as Santa's elves, cleaning chimneys, and sitting in vending machines dispensing snacks all day, there isn't much work out there."