Emergency meeting for tomorrow as stakeholders protest
Minister with responsibility for the horse-racing industry, Horace Dalley, is to meet with major players in the sector tomorrow after protest action forced a shutdown of the sport of kings yesterday.
Major players in the sector, including trainers and owners, decided not to run their horses after Dalley met with bookmakers who had closed their doors for two weeks in a dispute with Caymanas Track Limited over rights fees.
With bookmakers obviously satisfied with the outcome of that meeting and deciding to resume selling local racing yesterday, others in the industry cried foul.
This enraged the various interest groups which argued that they had been seeking a meeting with Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips for the past five weeks without success, yet the bookmakers were able to force a meeting in just over a week.
"This is telling us that the bookmakers have more clout than we the stakeholders, comprising the owners, trainers, breeders, jockeys, grooms, farriers and OTB associations," said Laurence Heffes, president of the Jamaica Racehorse Owners' Association.
"No consultations with the stakeholders ... we are extremely concerned," added Heffes.
In a signed letter by the association's heads to CTL's chief executive officer, Franz Jobson, yesterday morning, the stakeholders said they would be withholding support for the meet in light of recent developments.