BVI News

Historic! Antigua to compete in Easter Sunday races, $60K up for grabs

By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff

Come Easter Sunday, residents will witness a historic horseracing event in the British Virgin Islands.

For the first time, horses from Antigua will join those horses from the BVI and the neighbouring US Virgin Islands in six races at the Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay, Tortola.

President of the Horse Owners Association Lesmore Smith told BVI News on Wednesday that the move is to foster closer relationships with the rest of the Caribbean region as it relates to the sport.

“One of the things we have been looking at from the onset is how could we do a Caribbean integration. We talk about the Caribbean market, the Caribbean tourism product, but we never tried to explore it. And, I am the type of person who is not afraid to take a chance and see what happens,” he said.

Potential horseracing MOU?

Smith further said the territory could sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the twin-island state of Antigua & Barbuda in the foreseeable future.

“With the relationship that we have just established, there are no boundaries,” Smith said. He said apart from the comradery that will be built, the economy of participating countries will also benefit.


In the meantime, huge sums are up for grabs during these Easter Sunday races, Smith told BVI News.

“The purse for the day will be $60,000 overall,” he said. “We are talking about doubling the purse.”

The Horse Owners Association boss said, in the past, the overall purse for a one-day horseracing event has never surpassed $30,000. He said the reason for doubling that amount this year is because “it is a more festive season”.

“We have new patrons coming,” he explained.

The two horses from Antigua will join roughly 15 from St Thomas and a similar number from the BVI on the race track on April 21.

“It is expected to be an exciting day,” Smith said.

Notably, adult patrons can expect a $2 increase in the admission fee.

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  1. lol says:

    i surprised them ain say st lucian

    Like 5
    Dislike 8
  2. TurtleDove says:

    Good thing…Government needs to hurry up and legalize gambling to get their cut. Excellent way to help diversify the economy.

  3. Deh Watcha says:

    @ BVI News what is going on with this constant “flow popup ad” that I have to keep closing?

    Like 24
  4. Anonymous says:

    Invasive, unethical and unwanted in your face advertising. how tasteless!!

    Like 12
  5. Schupes says:

    Your memory short. The Triple Crown Races and August Tuesday race purses was higher than the $30,000.00 and the race with Gramps Morgan was higher than the $60,000.00. Go back and check your records.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  6. Belmont says:

    Complain to the TRC about the pop up adds.
    Barbados has organized professional horse racing would love to see some horses come from Barbados next.

  7. Please says:

    This is not the NDP.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  8. Concern says:

    I wander if the horses coming on we airplane. That would mean more revenue for we treasury?

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