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2016 was ‘full of challenges’- Patsy C. Lake

- said finding purses for races was the biggest challenge; thinks pari-mutuel wagering is the answer to some of the financial constraints faced by the association
2016 was full of challenges but President of the Virgin Islands Horse Owners Association, Mrs Patsy C. Lake (right), is looking forward to 2017 with much optimism. Photo: VINO/File
Finding purses for races was one of the biggest challenges for the VI Horse Owners Association in 2016. Photo: VINO/File
Finding purses for races was one of the biggest challenges for the VI Horse Owners Association in 2016. Photo: VINO/File
The acquiring of an eight-stall starting gate for Ellis Thomas Downs was one of the major accomplishments for the VI Horse Owners Association in 2016. Photo: VINO/File
The acquiring of an eight-stall starting gate for Ellis Thomas Downs was one of the major accomplishments for the VI Horse Owners Association in 2016. Photo: VINO/File
The series of Honourees Luncheon was one of the highlights of the Virgin Islands Horse Owners Association in 2016. Photo: VINO/File
The series of Honourees Luncheon was one of the highlights of the Virgin Islands Horse Owners Association in 2016. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Although the Virgin Islands Horse Owners Association (VIHOA) was seen to have made significant strides in many areas, such as purchasing an eight-stall gate as well as actually presenting a proposal to the Government on pari-mutuel wagering, President of that association, Patsy C. Lake has described 2016 as a challenge-filled year.

In an exclusive interview with Virgin Islands News Online, on Tuesday December 27, 2016, Lake said one of the main difficulties that the association faced was to come up with the purses for races.

“It sure was full of challenges, everything is challenging,” said Mrs Lake, who had announced she was quitting after a year but then changed her mind after due to “popular demand”.

Financial constraints

“We continue to plough through and see if we can get money for the upkeep of the purses, that is one of the biggest challenges because Government members are the main sponsors, other than that, the money comes from the gate,” she explained.

To put on a horse race is over $30,000 which is squarely for the purses.

The VIHOA president and horse owner mentioned that the association had undertaken various activities, such as the honouree luncheons, with the hope that they would also make some money, “but they didn’t bring in a lot of money.”

They also undertook a car raffle fundraising initiative which in her opinion, didn’t bring in much either after the $32,000 that the car cost them.

“It fell short. I mean we were able to pay for the car, which was not donated. The car was paid for from the proceeds of the sale and then whatever was left was what came to us, I don’t have an exact figure on exactly what we made, but we continually paying bills.”

Achievements

According to the association, some of their notable achievements include getting a permanent tractor at Ellis Thomas Downs, repair of the exterior fencing, fixing the leaking roof of the grandstands, continuous maintenance of the interior and exterior and repairing of the track conditioner.

Other accomplishments included the purchase of an 8 stall racing gate, the raffle of the Audi Q3 SUV to raise funds for the new starting gate, six successful races, 4 honouree luncheons, preparation of a new plan by Futura Tracks of California for the extension of Ellis Thomas Downs, and the presentation of a proposal to move forward pari-mutuel wagering at Ellis Thomas Downs by the parent company that is investing in the tracks in the US Virgin Islands.

Pari-mutuel wagering could bail out the sport

Lake informed that in November of this year, the association presented a proposal for the pari-mutuel wagering to Government and, “We are hoping to have further meetings, the government hasn’t made any commitments, they said they are going to look at the proposal and they are going to get back to us.”

Many perceive that if pari-mutuel wagering gets the green light, the sport would be able to stand on its own two feet financially.

She noted that the gate which is the largest in the VI was another great achievement and running seven horses in one race was history for the territory on Boxing day.

Expectations for 2017

So far, Lake said persons can look forward to more races, particularly the closest one, the first leg of the Virgin Islands Classic race on January 22, which the association is hoping will be another big event.

“We are hoping to have the support of the public. It’s the public really to grant the support to all these things, by their attendances,” Lake said.

17 Responses to “2016 was ‘full of challenges’- Patsy C. Lake”

  • cay (01/01/2017, 11:14) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    when is the election of the Assocation?
    • Interested Party (01/01/2017, 14:00) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
      We waiting to vote her out before she kill the sport.
      • the rock (01/01/2017, 22:43) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
        U sound like a jack a$$, if it wasn't for her, horse race would of been dead already, Mrs. lake those that are not jealous of u, appreciate what u has done and continue to do, all the best for 2017 and lets get the paranuetral up and running!
        • horse owners (03/01/2017, 14:35) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
          The rock if it wasnt for her it woulder had a lot more horses owners on the track since she was election many farms has drop out the sport- The boy stable , 284 racing stable, L&B racing stables, one time for one time racing stables, strictly business racing stables. Ms lake kill horse racing in the BVI. The reason she kill horse race , she want you to run your horses for what ever the gate make its cheaper you keep your horses in there stables it cost less then to run then for wa the gate makes. The horse owners ran they horses last year march didnt get paid til in august the only way they got paid is beacause she hear they wanted to vote her out...... this is coming for the horses month
  • horse man (01/01/2017, 12:02) Like (8) Dislike (5) Reply
    Ms Lake is trying her best dispite that snake pit she is in with some of um
  • her time is up (01/01/2017, 12:51) Like (9) Dislike (7) Reply
    get rid of her because we want bob and mileage to come back
  • Truth (01/01/2017, 13:48) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    People are so ungrateful. Patsy has done a lot during her Presidency.
  • Yeah@Truth (01/01/2017, 14:58) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Yeah u mean a lot for herself. I agree wid her time is up.
  • farmer brown (01/01/2017, 18:20) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank you for your service Ms P
  • Ungrateful (01/01/2017, 22:02) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    In her time she have done a bit it is true we don't have races as often but tell me who have done more and if you replace her who do you replace her with ?
  • Anonymous (01/01/2017, 22:38) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    It doesn't matter how old ms.Lake might be she is doing a marvelous job.Ms.Lake has gone above and beyond call of duty to make horse racing better in Tortola.
  • Informed person (01/01/2017, 23:04) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is for two years each president is elected for it is just one year gone so she hav a other year elections was done away with a year after Lesmore pull his over throw of the comety that started the Triple Crown
  • informed person (02/01/2017, 09:49) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    We have short term memory forgot when the horse owners said the no president can get anything done in 1year tell the truth the GOOD BOOK SAID THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE so be free
  • horse man (03/01/2017, 14:38) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    you need buy a horse and run then when ms lake is president and let see how long you last feeding them.... you have no idea whats going on ...... who feels it knows it remember that


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