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‘Bad Boys’ from Huntums Ghut to be honoured @ 4th Luncheon

- VI Horse Owners Association President Patsy C. Lake encourages other sports associations to honour their heroes
The Virgin Islands Horse Owners Association will honour another group of horce racing pioneers and contributors on November 13, 2016. Photo: VINO/File
The horse racing honourees for Sunday November 13, 2016. Photo: VINO
The horse racing honourees for Sunday November 13, 2016. Photo: VINO
The luncheon to honour persons who made a contribution to the development of horse racing in the Virgin Islands over the years has been a success so far. Photo: VINO/File
The luncheon to honour persons who made a contribution to the development of horse racing in the Virgin Islands over the years has been a success so far. Photo: VINO/File
From left: President of the VI Horse Owners Association Patsy C. Lake and Vice President Karen B. Smith-Aaron. Photo: VINO/File
From left: President of the VI Horse Owners Association Patsy C. Lake and Vice President Karen B. Smith-Aaron. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Virgin Islands Horse Owners Association President Mrs Patsy C. Lake and her Committee will be hosting the 4th Luncheon to honour those who have given back so much to the sport of horse racing, on Sunday November 13, 2016, at Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay.

The 4th Luncheon will have a distinctly Huntums Ghut flavour to it as most of the honourees will come from that area.

“The Committee came up with the idea of having these luncheons and it has really bonded us with the community,” stated Mrs Lake. “There is no particular order to whom we decide to honour, some are horse owners, some cook, some just groom and so on. However, we will be honouring two members of the media for the first time at the 4th Luncheon- Paul Hewlett and Karl Scatliffe.”

The selections are mainly from the Huntums Ghut community as that area stands out over the years for producing horse owners, trainers and many other people involved in the sport.

“We have Ishmael Hodge, currently involved as a Judge, but formerly a horse owner, Ashley Warner, Derrick Marshall and Kelvin Thomas, who were all involved with a horse called Ponchinella and who were known as the Bad Boys. Roy Garraway is also to be honoured after many years’ involvement, as well as Ifield Hodge, who I hope to get back into the sport after many years of being a horse owner.”

Honour your heroes

Mrs Lake also recognises the importance of the history that crosses all sports in the VI and hopes that other sports and organisations will follow the lead of the horse owners and honour their heroes.

“Lots of People deserve to be honoured, not just in sports, but education and culture. I believe in giving flowers while you are alive and our luncheons have made an excellent bond between the whole sport of horse racing and the community. If we don’t tell our young people about persons who have done so much for their field of endeavour, then we will know nothing.”

Following the success of the August holiday races, Mrs Lake believes the year ahead will be a big challenge and is concerned about the amount of horses available for the Boxing Day races, but also has great hopes for the return of the VI Classic, towards the end of January.

The luncheons will carry on throughout 2017 and will involve many more recipients from across the sport, with a frequency of one every couple of months.

“My aim was to make the sport more vibrant, but I couldn’t do anything without the support from Karen Aaron and Roy Barry, who are tremendous workers and thoroughly deserve credit. I can only captain the ship and need excellent sailors. In Karen and Roy, I have that.”

Also for 2017, Mrs Lake is hopeful that Pari-Mutuel betting will make its debut and take a lot of pressure of the sport in terms of fund raising and offsetting costs.

“It’s up to Government, but everyone can benefit from Pari – Mutuel, it will raise the standards and make the sport, all sport, much more competitive.”

The 4th Luncheon is open to the public and the Boxing Day Races will take place on Monday December 26, 2016.

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