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Boxing Day horse races to continue on January 19, 2020

- only 2 races were run on Boxing Day before rain forced a postponement
Horse racing will resume at Ellis Thomas Downs on January 19, 2020 with the continuation of the Boxing Day race card. Photo: VINO/File
A water logged track at Ellis Thomas Downs on December 26, 2019. The Boxing Day horse races had to be called off and will now continue on Sunday, January 19, 2020. Photo: VINO
A water logged track at Ellis Thomas Downs on December 26, 2019. The Boxing Day horse races had to be called off and will now continue on Sunday, January 19, 2020. Photo: VINO
President of the Virgin Islands Horse Owners Association, Mr Lesmore Smith has assured that patrons who were at Ellis Thomas Downs on Boxing Day would be allowed entry on January 19, 2020 once they present their wristbands at the gate. Photo: VINO/File
President of the Virgin Islands Horse Owners Association, Mr Lesmore Smith has assured that patrons who were at Ellis Thomas Downs on Boxing Day would be allowed entry on January 19, 2020 once they present their wristbands at the gate. Photo: VINO/File
Since the 2017 hurricanes caused major damage at Ellis Thomas Downs, the grand stand has been bare of any type of covering, except for the occasional tents placed in strategic locations for patrons by the association. Photo: Facebook
Since the 2017 hurricanes caused major damage at Ellis Thomas Downs, the grand stand has been bare of any type of covering, except for the occasional tents placed in strategic locations for patrons by the association. Photo: Facebook
SEA COWS BAY, Tortola, VI- The remaining horse races that were cancelled on December 26, 2019 at Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay due to heavy downpours will now be run on Sunday, January 19, 2020.

This is according to President of the Virgin Islands Horse Owners Association, Mr Lesmore Smith.

Mr Smith also assured that patrons who were at the track would be allowed inside on the new date once they present their wristbands at the gate.

Even Stevens after 2 races

Only two of the seven races planned were held, with the US Virgin Islands (USVI) and (British) Virgin Islands taking a win each.

God’s Greatness of 7 A's Stables in the USVI won the 6 ½ furlongs for Class D horses with a purse of $5,000 while Smith’s Nadiae’s Image from Top Priority Racing Stables won the $5,000 purse in the one mile for Class C and D horses (mares and fillies).

Mr Smith said, “So we started off in a balance. We were hoping that the day would continue and we would have kept up and been in the Winner’s Circle a little bit more because St Thomas is always taking us out of the Winner’s Circle. But, the master had a different plan so it would have to be the next time around.”

The event will continue to honour Mr William I. Rhymer, a centenarian, who was a committed horseman from Cane Garden Bay in his younger days.

‘I tried my best, but people still got wet’ – Smith

Meanwhile, Mr Smith apologised to the die-hard horse racing fans that showed up on Boxing Day, and noted that despite doing all in his power to provide patrons with shelter from the elements; his attempts were futile against the heavy downpours.

“I tried my best in covering part of the grandstand, but I know a few people got wet,” he remarked.

Since the 2017 hurricanes smashed the facility, the grand stand has been bare of any type of covering, except for the occasional tents placed in strategic locations for patrons by the association.

Mr Smith also thanked patrons for coming out to Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay for what was expected to be the biggest event on the horse racing calendar but which had to be cancelled for safety reasons brought on by the pouring rain.

The President of the VI Horse Owners Association said it pleased him to honour Mr Rhymer, who he felt has contributed immensely to the horse racing sport in the Territory.

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