Accident, brawl mar Kennard’s Turf Club meeting
By Clyde Pestano
April 1, 2003
A jockey almost lost his life after he fell off his mount, First Lady, last Sunday at the Kennard’s Memorial Turf Club Phagwah horse race `meet’ at Bush Lot, Corentyne, Berbice.
This accident and a `brawl’ between some horse racing fans marred a good day of horse racing in the ancient county.
Inshan Mohammed, of Grove, East Bank Demerara, fell off his mount in race two for horses classified L & Lower. He received injuries to his head and several other parts of his body.
Speaking with Stabroek Sport, Mohammed said, “de horse took the outside lane, an de saddle twist and I fall over, an when I fall over ah roll.” He added, “ah couldn’t get up right away but some people lift me up an put me in de car that come fuh me.”
Mohammed claimed that it was an accident and that the saddle which was not properly fastened was responsible for his mishap. He stated that since he has been riding horses he has never been involved in an accident until now.
It was observed by Stabroek Sport, that when Mohammed fell, there was no immediate response from the authorities to his plight.
After repeated prompting by the race announcer to alert the authorities that something had happened, a private vehicle was rushed to the scene. No stretcher was available to lift the jockey into the vehicle.
Ice was applied to his head injuries and some medication was given to him for pain.
Medic on the scene D. Mathur said afterward that the jockey should be alright. He revealed that Mohammed had hit his head, abdomen and butt.
According to Mathur, the jockey did not have on a helmet which was in violation of racing rules.
Mathur said that if Mohammed had his helmet on it may have helped lessen his injuries.
He also said that it was a good thing the jockey did not hit the side rails as that could have resulted in more severe injuries.
Stabroek Sport observed that Mohammed was the only jockey without a helmet in that race.
This surely should be reason enough for an inquiry into why he was not wearing head gear at the time of the accident.
The races were also marred by a `brawl’ between some patrons, over “a woman” according to one spectator. As a result one person was stabbed and several others injured in various parts of their bodies.
This incident occurred prior to the start of the feature event over one mile.
During the melee, patrons could be seen brandishing knives and cutlasses as they ran after each other.
The few members of the Guyana Police Force who were on the scene had their hands full and it was felt generally that if they had not intervened then something more tragic could have occurred.
The confrontation seemed to have dampened the spirit of the day’s activities as many patrons started to leave the ground as a result of the melee.
The feature event for horses classified D & Lower did not live up to expectations as Chestnut mare, Satranie outlasted the six-horse field, cruising to a comfortable victory by four lengths.
Time for a Change occupied second place, Temp-tation third and Point Given fourth.
The first race which took off at approximately 14:20 hrs, was for horses classified G1 & Lower. Lucky Coin won from My Arrival and Millennium Wind respectively.
Race two for animals classified L & Lower fielded the largest number of horses as eleven faced starter’s orders.
De General lived up to his name and led from the front to win by three lengths. He was followed by Fancy Breeze, Girl In Love and World In, in second, third and fourth place respectively.
Race number three was for horses classified F1 & Lower and Ransom Baby stamped his authority on the field winning by eight lengths, after leading from start to finish. He was followed by Point Given and Temptation in second and third respectively.
Hustling Time out-hustled horses classified H2 & Lower, in race four, winning by just half a length from Flying Free. Science Gold copped third place after leading briefly for the first part of the race.
De General was unstoppable again, and in race five, won by three lengths in a six-horse field.
Lucky Coin, Girl In Love and Alphabet Soup occupied second, third and fourth positions respectively.
It was announced by the organizers that race six for horses classified “I” & Lower was scrapped because of the poor number of entries.
Champion jockey was 22 year-old Prem Chandra from No. 67 Village Corentyne, Berbice. The Berbician who has been riding competitively since he was fifteen years old had two wins.
Speaking with Stabroek Sport, Chandra said that he enjoyed riding very much and has ridden at most of the race tracks in the country.
He said that he is looking forward to the next race meeting at the Port Mourant race track in two weeks time.
G. Molai and N. Pompey tied for best trainer in the one-day event.