BVI News

Horse racing track to be ready for August festival

A section of the stands at Ellis Thomas Downs after Hurricane Irma last September. (Photo Credit: Esther Durand/BVI News)

Newly-elected President of the Horse Owners Association, Lesmore Smith has announced plans to get the Ellis Thomas Downs ready for the annual Emancipation horse racing event held in August.

According to a media release from the Association, at least two fundraising initiatives are planned for the Sea Cows Bay-based facility.

These plans include a major ‘telethon’ as well as establishing a GoFundMe account for the horse track.

GoFundMe is an online platform that allows persons to raise money for various events.

While elaborating on the racetrack project, the new Horse Association President said: “The success of the rebuilding will be made largely possible through the financial and voluntary support of the community at large.”

“My team and I have already started to put things in place to ensure that we have a clear plan and realistic timelines in our rebuilding effort,” Smith added.

His new team comprises vice-President, Karen Aaron; Treasurer, Eileen Parsons; Public Relations Officer, Xavyrna Samuels; and Secretary, Rosalind Leonard.

Additionally, Karl Thomas will serve as Racing Secretary while Kyle Abraham will be a Horse Owners Representative.

The new Horse Owners Association charged with the mammoth rebuilding task was selected on May 1 during a stakeholders meeting.

2017 disaster hurt local horseracing 

The annual horse races were not held in August last year due to the devastating floods. The Boxing Day horseraces were also not held because because of the September 2017 hurricanes.

News that the August races are being held this year comes days after Third District Representative Julian Fraser lobbied in the House of Assembly for the hurricane-ravaged racetrack to be repaired.

“I am not expecting it to be what it was. But, at least get the track in a condition where horses can run,” said Fraser, adding that the August races are ‘biggest sporting recent in the territory’.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. de ting start says:


  2. Sam the man says:

    What a relief for a moment there I thought the ” No Direction Party” had lost sight of the main priority ! Thank goodness they have seen sense to put this ahead of school,road,sewage and infrastructure repairs like ferry terminals ….wow can’t wait to see those horses run again….

    • CR says:

      Perfect !

    • Bills says:

      One the best post in a long time

    • Seer says:

      Hahahahaha I love the sarcasm. Their priorities are so messed up, but its their way of catering to the mass of idiots who gets off on these types of non-essential issues.

    • CGB Resident says:

      You took the words right out of my mouth!!!

    • Reality says:

      Crazy thing to be wasting time discussing in the HOA what on earth are these inept politicians thinking when there are so many urgent needs just being ignored – even the dumb idea of wasting money by M painting derelict houses is better than this focus – does Frazer even own a race horse? If this nonsense carries on we are all doomed….

  3. Poor Horsey says:

    Please do not rush so that the horses break their legs or have to be put down

  4. Sam the Sham says:

    Ferry Terminals are being repaired along with most schools already. Road and sewerage would be prioritized accordingly. Horse Racing has been a significant part of our culture from times of old. Why does Sam the negative have to stick his runny nose into everything he’s not associated with. Sometimes it’s best to SHUT UP and SAY NOTHING when you have nothing to offer. Pete’s Sake!!1

    • Albion says:

      What are you smoking?!? The ESHS is still totally destroyed and zero steps have been taken to get it ready to start receiving students again. Most of the other schools are still in serious disrepair. Roads are a mess. Ferry terminals are a mess. Admin complex is still uninhabitable.

      But hey, no problem. Who cares about education so long as we can all go horse race.

    • Seer says:

      You should have taken your advice and shut up. Horse racing is not a priority. One of the main reason why nothings every gets done and completed properly is because money and other resources are spread thin, and to cover things that does not or should not matter at this current time. Hurricane season is right at the door and drains, schools, ferry terminals, police stations, and other essential units under the various government departments have not be fix or half way there.

      • Sam the Sham says:

        If I’m reading correctly…”Road Town Ferry Terminal re-opens Sunday” The West Terminal cannot be whipped up in couple months without strategic planning and a sound design to withstand the tests of time. I’ve noticed anything to do with progressing the territory a certain bunch always present/blogging for Government bashing and who related to who and who smoking what for God knows. I was never against any of the aforementioned projects, I was just simply stating that they are being adhered to.

    • island man 2 says:

      i think you need to look again I did not see the high school finish repaired

      • Sam the Sham says:

        You’re full of steam for my posts. Clearly you haven’t a clue who you talking to. Since there’s name calling…you’re obviously an inept, illiterate fool who doesn’t take the time to read but just comment on everybody’s post. I never said West End or the High School was COMPLETE. there were discussions over the previous months as to what will be repaired and so forth. A group came together collectively to pool their energy and resources to move the sport forward obviously in their interest and the interest of the territory. Sewerage been running in the roads and from under your mother from how long? Since Irma/maria all the territory’s problems should be fixed in 8 months? Set of unreasonable backward thinking fools.

  5. Reality says:

    What road repairs? What sewage improvements? What high school rebuilds? West End hasn’t anything after 8 months don’t talk nonsense Sam the Sham! If anybody is a sham it’s you! The point is well made – prioritise what is of vital importance first not rich peoples hobbies!

  6. Violet says:

    I second the motion. Priorities messed up. Infrastructure: roads, schools, ferry terminals, Police stations, clinics etc. first.
    Many citizens including the elderly without house roofs. Electricity on/off. Our country needs to put the house in order with the basic necessities first.

    The horses could go around the track without the stands, fix the running surface and cleanup the curled up steel.

  7. Ashamedforthebvi says:

    I am shocked that this a priority. Can we please recall that the horse owners left their horses in the stable to collapse down around them and then to proceed to quit feeding the horses that were left at the track because they “could not afford it’!!! LOOK AT THE CONDITION OF THOSE POOR HORSES STARVING OUT THEIR, but lets get more!!!

    It is embarrassing to have the tourist industry to see this post when they are refusing to come due to uncleanliness and ravaged buildings and roads. People do not have roofs on their homes, garbage lay strewn all over.

    What revenue does horse racing bring to the economy? Isn’t gambling illegal? so if this is the case how is this properly rebuilding the BVI. BVI strong???? when you are more worried about an inhumane sport that these horses are being taken care of.

    If you have money to buy a horse, ship it here then you should be regulated to care for the horse AFTER RACING IT TO DEATH.

    WAKE UP BVI…..

  8. Hmmm says:

    I agree.

  9. Sadface says:

    So sad that this is being prioritized. Those poor horses were left to die slow, painful deaths after Irma because their owners couldnt be bothered to feed them or care for them. Many had horrific injuries and the owners did nothing. ‘The 2017 disaster hurt local horseracing?’….. what about the horses that were hurt?? The new committee needs to focus in regulations being put in place.

  10. Hungrier says:

    I understand horse meat is lean and good for you. Tasty too !

  11. Tola says:

    Really people out here hungry and need shelter

  12. lol says:

    You are all dissing the government but the story does not mention any government funding. It says that 2 fundraisers will take place. Also says Fraser is pushing for repair, seems it would be a priority for VIP rather than NDP. If their fundraisers can make it self financing with no public burden whats wring with that?

  13. eh? says:

    I have seen the condition of some of the horses that were abandoned after the storm. In a terrible state. I suppose those owners who were quick to walk away will suddenly want them back and expect them to be in racing condition by August? IN my opinion, any owners who failed to take care of their horses after the storm should be banned from the sport.

  14. Sam the Sham says:

    I stand with what I’m saying all you “ignorant behind a computer posse” could kick rocks. Road Town terminal is near completion, West End was just finalizing their new designs. Road repairs would be no more than the quality you’ve been receiving. High School just finalized plans as well, with a time-frame for renovation and completion. Primary Schools are being worked on accordingly. How much of you went to Ellis Thomas Downs after the storms to determine who starve horses or not? Ya’ll quick to get defensive behind computer about who smoking what and what/who should be prioritized. Funds will be raised and solicited yet ya’ll still want to stick ayo fishy self in what don’t concern YOU!

    • Reality says:

      You need to get off the weed you talk nonsense – read the responses to your foolish comments and stop embarrassing yourself with your ignorance – West End doesn’t even have a decent tent after 8 months fact , the High School is shameful – fact, sewage still runs through our roads – fact…Are you related to any of those muppets in Government by any chance?

      • Sam the Sham says:

        @Reality I would slap you for being so bold. Thank God for computers.

        • Reality says:

          I knew that you were related – now We know why you are so defensive and talk out of your rear end…wake up and smell the coffee, don’t defend the indefensible – our islands need people that care about the important stuff and make it happen not this rubbish about horse racing when the BVI is on its knees – surely even you can see that?

          • Sam the Sham says:

            YOU don’t know your hand from your foot!! I’m related to NO GOVERNMENT official in office. I’m calling it like I see it…I don’t come here to tear down or score political points from NO party or their affiliates. The only person on their knees or focusing on rear ends is YOU!!! Ayo done HORNY for election bashing eh? The country has to move forward one way or the next. All your concerns about schools and ports are already being focused on… why can’t we have a discussion about a facility that millions were invested in 20years ago? Bunch of oppressive stagnant cowards behind PCs. COME FOR ME!!

    • Geez says:

      Poor Lesmore..Still with these pie in the Sky dreAms

Leave a Comment