As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on social gatherings, the demand for the sport had reached an all-time low; however, things could take a turn in 2022.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has indicated that his Government will be meeting with all Horse Racing industry stakeholders at the start of the New Year.
“Horse racing is one of our main Cultural pastimes, and together we must discuss the way forward with this industry,” he said in a brief announcement on December 29, 2021.
When contacted, Executive Director of the Recreational Trust, Mr Eustace C. Freeman aka 'Boss' said he was looking forward to seeing the sport being revived in the 2022 new year.
“Horse racing is a big part of our culture and I’ll like to see we get the races back up and ready to run,” he told Virgin Islands News Online (VINO).
“Our traditional races whether Easter, Summer, Christmas… we just missed Christmas races and Boxing Day races, so we want to make sure that we do what we can to revive races,” he told Virgin Islands News Online (VINO).
Efforts to contact Premier Fahie for a possible scheduled date of the upcoming meeting proved futile.
Meanwhile, throughout 2021, Third District Legislator, Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) had consistently called for the revival of the sport and the repair of the iconic Ellis Thomas Downs.
Hon Fraser said despite the pandemic, there is no argument that horse racing is the number one national pastime of Virgin Islanders.