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No Boxing Day horse races this year- Lesmore Smith

- as impasse between Gov't & land holders @ Ellis Thomas Downs continues
November 23rd, 2022 | Tags: Lesmore Smith Virgin Islands Horse racing Boxing Day
A lush green Ellis Thomas Downs today, November 23, 2022. Photo: VINO
President of the VI Horse Owners Association Mr Lesmore Smith has gone public, saying that the races will not happen as government is yet to have the issue resolved. Photo: Facebook
President of the VI Horse Owners Association Mr Lesmore Smith has gone public, saying that the races will not happen as government is yet to have the issue resolved. Photo: Facebook
The current state of the race track at Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay. Photo: VINO
The current state of the race track at Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay. Photo: VINO
There has been no resolve to the disagreement between Government and the land owners of Ellis Thomas Downs, which means the Boxing Day races will also be affected. Photo: VINO
There has been no resolve to the disagreement between Government and the land owners of Ellis Thomas Downs, which means the Boxing Day races will also be affected. Photo: VINO
FISH BAY, Tortola, VI- As there seems to be no resolution in sight to the impasse between the Government of the Virgin Islands (VI) and the Thomas family that owns a portion of land that accommodates Ellis Thomas Downs at Sea Cows Bay, there will be no Boxing Day horse races this year.

President of the VI Horse Owners Association Mr Lesmore Smith has gone public, saying that the races will not happen as the government is yet to have the issue resolved.

Mr Smith has also blasted the Thomas family for what he termed as not having heart and exhibiting true 'BVI love'.

"Be In Charge, take the mantle, make a decision," Mr Smith said to the government, while telling the Thomas family, "Have compassion."

Mr Smith was at the time a guest on JTV yesterday, November 22, 2022.

'I am not going to spend my resources'- Smith

According to Mr Smith, the conclusion came following a discussion with Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D Wheatley (R7) on Sunday, November 20, 2022.

"As far as that dialogue went, things haven't been yet settled...I mean we have our Boxing Day races in about a month from now and we can't have it, it wouldn't happen because the track has more grass than you see on the side of the road," he said. 

"And I am not going to spend my resources and I have said that clearly to the government and to all my horse mates. I am not going to take my money anymore because I had to take all of the surface up the last time, sift the whole sand and replace it and it has a cost," Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said the track often benefits from assistance from people in the community, not government, but it is not good when people donate their time and services to see things happen for horse racing and then it goes down to naught.

"And I understood that the track has been paid for and it is yet to be disputed as somebody who knows better would say that track has been paid for up until February next year and my this if you already paid for something then you should have use of it."

Where is the BVI love?

Turning his attention to the Thomas' who has ordered the government to cease and desist from using the track, Smith said, “Looking at what it is, I believe as a BVIslander and we say we have the spirit of 'BVI Love'. Despite all of that, the owners of the track should have had a little more compassion for the whole sport, for the father, whom the track is named after. I am saying, knowing that it is named after your father, this is what he loved."

While noting that he is not here to tell the Thomas' family what is the value of their land and what they should do with it, Smith said the family should have "worked the kinks out later or during the process but don't just shut the whole thing down.

"But I am not in any way discrediting the Thomas family, because it's their property but at least they should have been more lenient with us, more compassionate with us, at least to get things going to let us get our traditional races going," Smith said.

17 Responses to “No Boxing Day horse races this year- Lesmore Smith”

  • More $$ (23/11/2022, 16:17) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    And less love ❤ / when money involved , the so called ( BVI ) love is thrown in the garbage , we all know that , then it's dog eat dog after ( well at least when the insiders are at war the outsiders won't get the blame
  • Lb (23/11/2022, 16:25) Like (8) Dislike (14) Reply
    Shame shame shame on the unity government we will never forget this at the polls
  • Let Them Run (23/11/2022, 16:29) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let them run around the racetrack in town. The lines already there. Hopefully we have learned the error of our ways.
  • Horse food (23/11/2022, 17:38) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let the horses eat the grass on the track, that's what they are good at.
  • paul (23/11/2022, 18:57) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    But how could Les be more? Just as good I name my child Fastslo
  • WWE (23/11/2022, 19:42) Like (3) Dislike (7) Reply
    Take the Damn land and pay them for it.
    What are u all waiting for ?
    Even give the a peace of land on the hill side
  • Fam (23/11/2022, 20:07) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    Lesmore you trying but we still not voting for you or sharna
  • fan in the USA (23/11/2022, 20:28) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I was looking forward to watching it on Forbestv... Look how horse racing will die out... something better happen soon or the USVI will get all.
  • le le le dah alone (23/11/2022, 21:45) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    How would lesmore feel if the government took his land?
  • Foreign Investor (23/11/2022, 22:09) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    I want to build a 7/8 mile track on Anegada pls along with all amenities. Stop wasting time with these ppl.
    • Well Sah (26/11/2022, 10:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      You need to stop talking s$&! It could never happen. Wa horse man it have up there?
  • justin (24/11/2022, 00:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    keep saying, our leaders needs to pay more attention to home affairs because in the year 2022 and we are still struggling with certain things that involves our people

    those coming with private yachts and staff no longer have to worry seeking permission to work in the territory[run blog that
  • Third (24/11/2022, 10:27) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    The family needs to reimburse the Government the money they received, and probably already spent, for the lease. Period
  • NezRez (24/11/2022, 14:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    They need to purchase their own land and then have as many races as they want. Problem solved.
  • Bree (24/11/2022, 14:18) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    So sad. Was hoping it will be resolve by the Holidays. As I've said before this could be a good income earner for us. The tracks in the USVI were damage from since Irma and the way things going, they may not be repaired for the next two to three years. If we can resolve this issue quickly, we may be able to capitalize on this. It will be a win-win situation for all involve. The horse owners, ferries, hotels, taxis and other vendors. Come on people let work together and get this solve.
  • q (25/11/2022, 01:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Take the Damn land and pay them for it.
    123 over and out
  • time will tell (25/11/2022, 15:00) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am soo sick of this type of scenario.Why doesn't Gov't tell the public the truth. When one land owner tries to hold the Gov't ransom and cause them to appear in a bad light, they have all right to expose the truth and call a spade a spade. All these negative posts from people who only know half of the story is sickening. But wait man. Time longer than twine...


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