Horse racing year in review
Bad admin. and track management plague improvements
Stabroek News
January 5, 2007

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Horse racing has been on the rise again locally and although there has been a number of improvements in racing facilities countrywide there still has been evidence of bad management and poor track administration at most meets.

The Guyana Horse Racing Authority again failed to hold annual general elections leading some race horse owners to believe that the administrators of the sport are continuing to disregard the rules of the sport. There was a blatant case of disregard for the rules at a major meet where horses that were classified as F Class were demoted to run in the G Class races and horses that were classified H Class were also demoted and ran in I Class races. Discrepancies as regards classification of imported horses were also evident; the rules state that if a West Indian bred horse is a winner of one or two races its class should be F2 and would be adjusted according to the race record on amount of career wins.

Race horse owners have called on the Ministry of Sport to intervene so that some level of control is maintained. They are also seeking to have the rules governing racing, breeding and quarantining passed in Parliament so that the sport could move to an international level. However, the plans to form a Horse Owners and Trainers Association and a Jockey and Grooms Association never materialised.

A number of quality horses including Wind Rush, Sarafena, Chenniski and Little Pani, were showcased at meets throughout the year but breeders need to increase the number to make the races more competitive and more exciting. Also, the reopening of two tracks, the Ryan Crawford Memorial Turf Track and Sport Facility at Alness Village, Corentyne and the other at Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara, means that turfitescan expect more meets during the year. However, in order to host quality races, more improvements are needed both in administration and on the ground.