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Ole Mas still on at Santa Rosa Park
Carnival has long been over and we are into the Lenten season but it seems those charged with the responsibility of horse racing are intent on keeping the Carnival spirit alive.
Firstly, we had the embarrassing situation of the Arima Race Club (ARC)/Racing Authority (TTRA) not having any ink for their printers and as a result, owners and trainers desirous of renewing their licenses had to be turned away for a number of days. This follows closely on the incidence where there was no paper to print ID badges.
It must boggle the minds of most readers to understand how this could be possible in any organization—large or small, other than a carnival based organisation. Whoever is responsible for maintenance of the inventory must be awarded the prize for best Ole Mas performance.
It is completely unacceptable that the ARC/TTRA would allow itself to get into such a position and it is unfair to owner, trainers and members who are desirous of renewing their licenses but cannot do so for external reasons. The consequence of this slackness is that the ARC/TTRA would clearly have to relax their standards since non-compliance re license renewal was not the fault of the individual owner/trainer/member.
Secondly, we had the incident when a trainer whose horse was reported positive for a prohibitive substance, tried on two successive days to get the split sample for testing from the TTRA but was advised that the person responsible for the process was out of office. On the next day, which was now the third day in a row, the individual was present but the trainer was advised that the time had elapsed for him to lodge his claim for the split sample to be reviewed.
Now if that is not worthy of some sort of J’ouvert prize, I don’t know what it. Whoever is responsible for facilitating the process for having the split sample tested must be awarded the prize for King of J’Ouvert. Of course if this is not true, the award can be taken away. It is completely unacceptable that the TTRA would deny a trainer his constitutional right due to a technicality when it should be fully aware that the trainer was seeking to comply within the required timeframe but was denied from doing so due to the absence of the relevant employee.
Clearly if the trainer took up this matter legally, any court would find in his favour but this would come about only have significant expense is incurred by the TTRA (they would probably have to pay legal fees for the plaintiff as well). Hopefully good sense will prevail and the trainer will be allowed to have the split sample reviewed even though the time has elapsed. Thirdly, we have the recent move to implement a dress code for the winners enclosure and level 2 of the Grand Stand.
While the move is to be applauded, standards have slipped to ridiculous levels, so the implementation is comical. E-mail were sent out to all members, and that was okay. Even the notice in the racing programme was fine, but it is the painting of the notice on the walls of the Ground (and First) level of the Grand Stand that wins the award. Someone obviously felt it was cheaper to paint the notice onto the walls, rather than get a Sign printed. It is ironical that this classless approach was taken with a message saying it was aiming to raise the standards at the Club.
Whoever is responsible for authorising the painting of this sign must be awarded a special Carnival Bobolee Award. Finally, we continue to see the gap between the administrators of the sport in Trinidad, Jamaica and Barbados. Even though the financial situation in those latter two countries must be far worse than in Trinidad, their administrators continue to invest in technology to take the sport to wider markets.
The Barbadians have invested in mobile technology to make live horse racing available on ipad and other mobile devices while the Jamaicans continue to use cloud technology, such as having their racing posted on YouTube, etc to make the sport more accessible to a local and even international clientele. Locally, we have no use of technology and an archaic website. Is it that difficult for the administrators to copy what their counterparts in other regional countries are doing?
Overall, the local administrators must be ante post favourites for the most prestigious prize of all—the Annual Sporting Boo Boo Award! Oh by the way , there is no TTRA at the moment, although some prominent names are being mentioned like Pierpont Scott and Dr Jagdis Suratsingh. So it really is Old Mas at Santa Rosa Park, Arima. Let’s Dance!
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