Trainers, agents back disconnection operations
Vincent Edwards, president of the Jamaica Racehorse Trainers Association (JRTA), whose organisation yesterday staged its annual race meet at Caymanas Park, has come out strongly against alleged threats being made against grooms by persons caught abstracting electricity from the Portmore, St Catherine, racetrack.
Grooms are employed by trainers to care for horses at stables spread across the 196-acre property and spend most of their time on the Caymanas compound.
Edwards said his association condemned the reported threats against grooms and praised ongoing operations for clamping down on breaches to the racetrack's electricity and water supplies by residents from informal communities, especially to the north of the property.
"The leadership and members of the JRTA fully support the actions taken by the police and the racetrack's security detail, McKay Security Limited, relating to the disconnection of electricity illegally connected by the adjoining informal settlement," the JRTA president stated.
Meanwhile, another group, the Jockeys' Agents association, headed by Donovan Wilson, also issued a release supporting the operation which led to the apprehension of two persons.
"It cannot be acceptable that the industry is subsidising the consumption of electricity of residents in the surrounding communities," Wilson's statement read.
The racetrack has been plagued by illegal connections to its utility systems, including water, over the years, sending its monthly bills skyrocketing.
However, similar disconnection operations, conducted in 2011, '12 and '14, followed by arrests in 2015, had led to dramatic decreases in utilities cost, especially light, causing the racetrack's monthly bill to peaked at $8.3m in April 2014.