Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club cancels Sunday's horse race in Vieux Fort
A horse race in Vieux-Fort a few months ago
UPDATE: The Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club has postponed the upcoming horse race in Vieux Fort.
They issued the following statement on social media this morning, March 16, 2020:
"In light of confirmation that Covid-19 is present in Saint Lucia and following detailed discussions with the Government of Saint Lucia and advise issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club will postpone its race day schedule for Sunday. March 22, 2020.
The Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club is conscious of its responsibilities to the community as one that holds regular events for mass audiences and takes this proactive action to minimize national risk.
The Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club will continue monitoring the situation closely with authorities and, in concert, will continue working on alternate solutions that may allow for racing to be run remotely. We thank racehorse owners, industry participants and sponsors for their understanding during this challenging time."
ANNOUNCEMENT:— Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club (@royalstluciatc) March 16, 2020
We would like to thank all for the overwhelming support for our March Race. Kindly be reminded that all General Admission tickets will be valid for 6 months from the date-of-purchase.
We sincerely thank you for your continuous support and patience.
"Postpone the horse race slated for Sunday, March 22, 2020, in Vieux-Fort!"
That’s the anguished cry of residents of the south, especially Vieux-Fortians, who say they are gravely concerned about the confirmed case of the coronavirus on the island.
Last Friday, at a press conference, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Sharon Belmar-George made the disclosure.
The patient is a 63-year-old woman with a travel history from the UK, who arrived here on March 7 in the company of her husband.
The concerned residents of the south find it strange that the government has cancelled St Lucia Jazz 2020 due to coronavirus concerns and has not seen it fit to postpone the horse race.
George Mathurin, a resident of Vieux-Fort said: “The horse race should be abandoned. It will pose a risk to the entire country which we can’t afford.”
Be in love with the rush of horse racing and the thrill of a winner!— Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club (@royalstluciatc) March 13, 2020
Get your Admission Ticket at EC 25 👇 (Free entry for Children 12 and under) and stand a chance to win fabulous prizes worth up to ECD 5,000!https://t.co/5sl5r6QMH1#rsltc #stlucia #horseracing pic.twitter.com/5tDlE8k2hd
He added: “So far we only know of one confirmed case of the coronavirus, but who knows there may be others.”
Mathurin said Saint Lucians need to take the problem more seriously.
Lambert Vitalis described the decision not to postpone the horse race as “madness”.
“Why don’t we emulate those countries with much more resources than us by postponing all events which attract a large crowd,” Vitalis told Loop News.
Another resident, who identified himself as Mike, said going ahead with the horse race is a big risk. He said we don’t have the resources to deal with any major outbreak of the coronavirus.
“Who are we trying to please?” he asked.
A number of other persons who spoke to Loop News on condition of anonymity are calling for the race to be postponed.
Since the confirmation of the coronavirus in Saint Lucia earlier this week there has been panic buying around the island as some shoppers say they are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.
Massy Stores, located on New Dock Road, Vieux-Fort is one of the stores which has been crowded with people since the confirmation of the coronavirus in Saint Lucia.
As of yesterday, Friday, March13, 2020, there has been no official statement from the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club or the government as to whether the horse race will be postponed.