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Screen erected to block out derelict vehicles eyesore @ Ellis Thomas Downs

- borrowed starting gate on site for race day, January 17, 2016
The black screen being put up late this afternoon January 16, 2016 to block out the blemish of the derelict vehicles storage site near Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay. Photo: VINO
The screen from outside the Eastern side of Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay, Tortola. Photo: VINO
The screen from outside the Eastern side of Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay, Tortola. Photo: VINO
The gate which President of the Virgin Islands Horse Owners Association, Patsy C. Lake, has sourced from St Thomas, US Virgin Islands for race day tomorrow, January 17, 2016. Photo: VINO
The gate which President of the Virgin Islands Horse Owners Association, Patsy C. Lake, has sourced from St Thomas, US Virgin Islands for race day tomorrow, January 17, 2016. Photo: VINO
Many spectators, horse racing fans and residents from around the Third District have long complained about the unsightly look of the derelict vehicles dump site at the Eastern side of Ellis Thomas Downs, the only horse racing facility on the main island of Tortola. Photo: VINO/File
Many spectators, horse racing fans and residents from around the Third District have long complained about the unsightly look of the derelict vehicles dump site at the Eastern side of Ellis Thomas Downs, the only horse racing facility on the main island of Tortola. Photo: VINO/File
Not only is it disturbing to look at but for years whenever racing videos are produced at the track located in Sea Cows Bay it has been an eyesore to watch this as the background for a portion of each race. Many horse racing fans sitting in the grandstand can see the derelict vehicles clearly and the ugly sight continues to show up in photos, videos and television images. Photo: VINO/File
Not only is it disturbing to look at but for years whenever racing videos are produced at the track located in Sea Cows Bay it has been an eyesore to watch this as the background for a portion of each race. Many horse racing fans sitting in the grandstand can see the derelict vehicles clearly and the ugly sight continues to show up in photos, videos and television images. Photo: VINO/File
President of the Virgin Islands Horse Owners' Association Mrs Patsy C. Lake told Virgin Islands News Online that the screen erected is to block out the unsightly look of the derelict vehicles near Ellis Thomas Downs. Photo: File
President of the Virgin Islands Horse Owners' Association Mrs Patsy C. Lake told Virgin Islands News Online that the screen erected is to block out the unsightly look of the derelict vehicles near Ellis Thomas Downs. Photo: File
SEA COWS BAY, Tortola, VI- Many spectators, horse racing fans and residents from around the Third District have long complained about the unsightly look of the derelict vehicles dump site at the Eastern side of Ellis Thomas Downs, the only horse racing facility on the main island of Tortola.

Not only is it disturbing to look at but for years whenever racing videos are produced at the track located in Sea Cows Bay it has been an eyesore to watch this as the background for a portion of each race. Many horse racing fans sitting in the grandstand can see the derelict vehicles clearly and the ugly sight continues to show up in photos, videos and television footage.

Derelict vehicles blocked out

However, from next race day January 17, 2016 the blemish at Sea Cows Bay will be no more, at least for fans in the grandstand and the media taking photos and video clips.

The new Virgin Islands Horse Owners Association led by Mrs Patsy C. Lake has taken immediate steps to erect some poles and place a “black” screen on the poles to block out the ugly sight of the derelict vehicles.

Our newsroom’s rovering cameraman was on site moments ago January 16, 2016 and saw the work in progress.

Mrs Lake told Virgin Islands News Online: “It’s to block out the unsightly look of those vehicles…because every time visitors come to [our races] they taking pictures of the garbage.”

She further said Mr Lesmore Smith had undertaken to get the screen up in time for race day and she was grateful that he was able to get it done.

The derelict vehicles storage is a project of the Ministry of Health and Social Development. The vehicles are stored on leased land by Government from a private land owner. However, the old vehicles are from time to time shipped overseas.

Other improvements; No help from NDP

Meanwhile, Ms Lake has sourced a new gate, which can start six horses, from the Clinton E. Phillips Racetrack in St Thomas, USVI. The gate is now on site. The new Association has committed itself to doing some small but significant improvements on the racetrack as some critics have said the National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration has not made the sport of horse racing a priority.

The portfolio is held by the Minister for Education and Culture Hon Myron V. Walwyn. Under the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government it was shared, with the Premier's Office having responsibility for Operations and minor maintenance; while the Ministry of Communications and Works held responsibility for repairs and Capital Improvements. During that Administration the facility had seen many improvements over the years, including the removal and replacement of the running surface, which was always properly maintained, and also the installation of new aluminum inner rails on the track.

Who owns Ellis Thomas Downs?

The Ellis Thomas Downs is a government owned facility with lands leased from two private land owners. Governments over the years have given the Horse Owners’ Association permission to run and manage the races.

The next race day is January 17, 2016 and is dubbed the VI Classic, with horses from all three islands; St Croix, St Thomas and Tortola. Post time is 12:30 PM.

21 Responses to “Screen erected to block out derelict vehicles eyesore @ Ellis Thomas Downs”

  • VG (16/01/2016, 19:16) Like (70) Dislike (2) Reply
    good job so far Ms. Lake you Jammi just what the race track needed
  • ndp (16/01/2016, 19:20) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
    Come on Ms. Lake give Archie some time to clean things up LOL
  • Wow. Wow. (16/01/2016, 19:28) Like (10) Dislike (16) Reply
    Wow. Thought horse and Jockey safety were first priority. What were done to improve safety?. Fence to block out old vehicles.. Lol. Wow. This could never had been a consensus move. Somebody wanted to have their way. I can see safety as a consensus /priority. Not this.
    • How High (16/01/2016, 23:23) Like (10) Dislike (5) Reply
      I agree this new setup looks just as tacky, especially from the 2nd picture. Just threw it up didnt we? I would have thought the safety and improvement of the track was first and foremost. Horseracing seems to be blighted by persons and their personal shenanigans. When will we ever learn? Tourists on the track? Can she provide the figures to back up this claim as to why was this a priority? If I as a tourist is sitting in the stands, is the cloth still blocking out the vehicles?
  • Bernie Sanders (16/01/2016, 22:23) Like (4) Dislike (15) Reply
    What about grading the track properly to prevent horses from broking their feet,The government NDP VIP pump money in the track and what the association do with the money they collect on race days,i recall for Xmas the premier give 10000$ and the government put money all the time,so it's not right to say the NDP did nothing.I will call it as i see it when Government F...UP i will be on their case ,J Bernie Sanders stands for a level playing field,equality for all...
    • I'm with u Bernie Sanders (17/01/2016, 05:11) Like (5) Dislike (7) Reply
      Bernie Sanders. I agree. You making a lot of sense. Don't mind the friends of evil who can't think for themselves and be positive.. Be truthful. Safety should be the daxmn priority.. Where government money gone year after year?
  • Disinterested (16/01/2016, 22:32) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
    The screen is just a temporary visual break and does not present an aesthetically pleasing appearance. it is not a permanent a fix. Why are these derelict vehicles there in the first place?
    • Vi chic (17/01/2016, 00:20) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
      That isn't her responsibility. Did what was the easiest fix for what she is to be in charge of....which is horse race.
    • @ Disinterested (17/01/2016, 02:47) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply
      Frazer was in power and did nothing but blow hot air about thoes vehicles we need a new man in zone 3
    • pat (18/01/2016, 00:55) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      if the wind is flapping that will distract the horses and cause trouble anyway. It is ugly. get rid of the cars!
      That is what devalues property prices. Government or at least Fraser should weigh in on that.
  • WTA (16/01/2016, 23:18) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why are we still with this Band-aid method of fixing things. Why not take the same money and pay Bald-Head to crush the cars and ship them off the island? Whats the cost of that screen? Lets see, the poles, the labour to plant the poles, the cost of the screen, the labour to put up the screen. Whats the total cost equals??? Answer: the cars are still there to be crushed and shipped off the island. Problem not solved.
  • wize up (17/01/2016, 00:44) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    waste of money; clean up the area but then lake got money like that!!!! quick fix is how the territory deal with things; just before election pave the road then a few months dig them back up to repair them....
  • lipstick on a pig (17/01/2016, 00:58) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is what you call a bandage over a sore.
  • cnn (17/01/2016, 01:04) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    just hope not more horse will broke dem foot!
  • Education vs Common sense (17/01/2016, 05:26) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Everything in the BVI is going down..Festival. Horse race, Clubing/ party, Music festival....Giving 7 Million to one Airline is so foolish. It makes more sense if they pump a million in horse racing. Pump a million in music festival. Pump a million in August festival. Bring these things back up to a high standard the reward as it relates to bringing tourist to the BVI is much better. Anyway good action is people from all over will come. They will get here...Where is the common sense.?
  • farmer brown (17/01/2016, 07:16) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Myrun wasted my tax dollars on a horse he needs to refun tax payers
  • Quiet Storm (17/01/2016, 08:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is just a smoke screen. The screen is a less tacky than the eyesore resulting from the derelicts vehicles. You dress up pig in fine clothing but is still a pig and will behave like a pig. As Disinterested asked, why is the derelict vehicles there in the first place? Can the vehicles be disposed of? This is not a heavy lift is it? Why in the BVI the simplest things appear as a heavy lift? Look appearance is fine, but first things first. The health and safety of the Jackie and horses should comes first. Protect life then property. Protect the investment of the horse owners by properly maintaining the track. Too many horses are being put down. The track is government controlled and managed by the horse owners association. We need to reevaluate the management of the track. Let's stop playing musical chairs for its management. It needs an effective plan with stable management.

  • LOL (17/01/2016, 09:12) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    another NDP cover up
  • History (17/01/2016, 09:14) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Lake and Walwyn borrowed a starting gate from St.Thomas....How embarrassing!
  • BuzzBvi (17/01/2016, 23:48) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Cannot see derelict cars.
    Therefore there are no derelict cars.
    Problem solved!
    Normally this only works with babies under the age of 2!!
    I cannot see it therefore it does not exist.
    Can I get one of these to make my neighbours go away once I have my new gate. Thanks Minister.
  • Hmm (18/01/2016, 11:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hang on, am I missing something here? They throw up a "black screen" but can you not still see the rubbish? :/

    They had a guy (forgot his name) with the machine that use to crush those old cars & at one point the area had actually started to look better. If memory serves me right there was an issue with money and then work ceased. What is the gov saying about this situation/eyesore?


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