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Ban on gov’t halts horse races, other events at Ellis Thomas Down

Ban on gov’t halts horse races, other events at Ellis Thomas Down

A public ban has been issued by the government on the use of a section of the Ellis Thomas Downs facility where horse racing events are usually held in the BVI.
In a late-night release issued by the Ministry of Culture, Youth Affairs & Sports on September 8, the government said: “The public is advised effective immediately and until further notice, the portion of land at the Ellis Thomas Downs which is owned by [the] Thomas family may not be utilised in any way by the government, its agents and/or assigns.”

The statement added: “This includes the Horseowners’ Association, and any person connected thereto.”

The notice did not state what prompted the urgency of the instruction, however, it has advised that an upcoming horse racing event scheduled at the location by the BVI Horseowners’ Association will be adversely affected by the ban.

“We are aware that races are scheduled to take place at the Ellis Thomas Downs on 18 September 2022. Regrettably, Government is not in a position to say whether the current issues will be resolved prior to that date,” the statement added.

“Accordingly, we have advised Mr Lesmore Smith of the Horseowners’ Association that it may be prudent to take urgent steps to cancel those races in order to mitigate the inconvenience to all relevant stakeholders,” the statement added.

Smith, upon receiving the government’s missive, expressed disappointment and asked for the full cooperation of all parties involved in the matter.

According to the notice issued by the government, the specific parcels of land affected are Parcels 170, 171 and 246, Block 2736B, Sea Cow’s Bay Registration Section.

“We have taken immediate steps to comply with the directive issued,” the notice said.

The government assured the public that it remains committed to working assiduously with the Thomas Family to rectify the situation as soon as possible.
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