MOONLIGHT BANDIT has emerged the winner of the territory’s first horse racing event since March when COVID-19 started affecting the British Virgin Islands.
The fleet-footed racehorse ran seven furlongs on Sunday to defeat its sole competitor, WARRIOR’S RIDGE — a newcomer.
The BVI Horse Owners Association did not organise this event.
Owner of the MOONLIGHT BANDIT, Dion Stevens, said he and his team decided to put on the show on their own to keep the sport alive, despite COVID-19.
“The horses here … we gotta feed them and take care of them so we might as well keep the sport alive. Because of the pandemic, the whole world messed up. But the horses are here so we say, ‘look, let we just put something together — try to get a couple horses to work and get some race on and keep the sport going’,” Stevens said.
“We personally just run among ourselves for $6,000, and that’s between me and the other horse owner,” he explained.
Stevens said other local horses were not as ready for the race. However, he said the number of races and participants will increase in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, one of the owners of WARRIOR’S RIDGE, Shanesen Turnbull said his six-year-old horse had a rocky start since it arrived in the territory from Puerto Rico.
“He came in December but its [first local] race had rained out [at the time]. Then he got sick so he was down for couple months. By the time we tried to get him ready, the coronavirus pandemic came along so it’s like, ‘no race’. So this is the first time that he got on the track,” Turnbull said.
As for WARRIOR’S RIDGE’s run against MOONLIGHT BANDIT, Turnbull stated: “This is a start and hopefully it will get back up.”
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