BVI News

Horseracing track to be repaired in ‘phased manner’ over two years — Premier

The Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay, Tortola. (Photo by Andre ‘Shadow’ Dawson/BVI News)

Horseracing supporters will have to wait two years before the Ellis Thomas Downs is fully repaired, Premier Andrew Fahie has said.

The Premier said this is because of the extensive damage the facility sustained by the September 2017 hurricanes.

“We recognize that repairs have to be done in a phased manner so that is why we have placed money in the budget for the Ellis Thomas Downs over a two year period,” the Premier said.

“To date, no plans have been made to re-erect the statue of Mr Ellis Thomas, and it is anticipated that this will be done next year once works on the track commence,” he further said.

He made the statement in the House of Assembly while responding to questions by Julian Fraser — the representative of the Third District where the racetrack is located.

The Premier also said the Ministry of Sports & Culture is committed to having the horseracing facility’s perimeter fence repaired in its 2020 budget.

Proper management being considered

In the meantime, Fahie said his government has been ‘considering’ options for the proper management of the facility.

“We would eventually like to put the necessary legislation in place to manage the facility and to ensure that the government can receive some level of return on its investment over the years. This Honorable House will be kept informed of its progress,” Fahie stated.

The racetrack was partially repaired last year by the BVI Horse Owners Association to facilitate the return of the sport in the territory.

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8 Comments

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  1. Yep says:

    Why is the Government involved in a racetrack ?
    There are enough very wealthy supporters of this who could take over this facility.

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
    • Ausar says:

      This is good news, Premier.

      The whole facility needs an overhaul!

      Like 2
      Dislike 1
    • Horse Racing? says:

      The government has no business being involved in this. If the government wishes to be in the racing business then make gambling on the races legal and pay for the repairs from the proceeds. Illegal gambling is done during the races out in the open but that appears to be ok. Making it legal so the bulk of the taxpayers do not have to foot the bill is not ok. Your religious bulls**t has clogged your brains.

      Like 8
      Dislike 1
    • Kitchen Table Focus Panel says:

      @Yep, we the focus panel agrees with your comment, all ten of us. There is no way the Government should be involved.

      Like 5
      Dislike 1
  2. Kingfish says:

    The place should be closed and the land used for
    growing food that will be more beneficial to the entire Virgin Islands than to those few hundreds who are interested in animal cruelty.

    Like 7
    Dislike 2
  3. Expat says:

    Roads need to be repaired first!

  4. Priority? says:

    Priorities?!?
    Perhaps we could take a look at the high school before we start throwing money at the track?
    Any person in elective office here should be embarrassed at the length of time it’s taking for rebuilding the high school.
    Schools First!

  5. Wow says:

    School and people 1St

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