Says Samuel Whyte
While sporting activities should be taking the limelight for outstanding achievements and performances, the situation in Guyana is totally the opposite. Sporting activities are competing and taking the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Major sports, cricket, football and horseracing are almost always under some cloud of controversy.
While the former two have been ventilated a lot in the media my short comment will focus on the horseracing fiasco.
Horseracing in Guyana at the moment is being administered in a truly cowboy scenario with no one seems concerned about the rules. Although there is a Guyana Horse Racing Authority (GHRA) in place, the organizers, clubs and promoters seem bent on doing their own thing.
One of the end results is the latest fiasco that occurred at the recently held People Progressive Party one day horserace meet held on Sunday 12th Oct. at the Kennard Memorial Turf Club (KMTC). A controversy arose after it was alleged that Trinidadian jockey Keran Razack abode champion horse Princess She Not of the Shariff Stable allegedly used an electrical device to shock the animal during the feature A and lower event. Owner of the Shariff Racing Stables, Mohammed ‘Nankoo’ Shariff has since denied the allegations.
Since then allegations have been flying back and forth. A number of photographs have since made the rounds on Social Media and some sections of the print media showing Razzack with the alleged device in his hands.
The electrical device or buzzer, which is the size of a lighter, is battery operated. It conducts electrical current that is used to shock horses and other animals into running, galloping, jumping, bucking etc. It is also used at Rodeo’s and other events where animals are required to performed exceptional feats.
In the meanwhile, following the fiasco a five-man committee headed by attorney at law Ryan Crawford has been set to inquire into the alleged incident. The other members of the committee are Francis Chichester, Quacy Henry, Patrick Davis and Zenzie Goring. The committee is expected to meet with the players including jockey Razzack on Monday at the KMTC pavilion. The committee is hoping to use the picture being circulated to conduct the investigation.
However, questions being asked, include, how authentic or conclusive could those pictures be, since the photographs were allegedly taken by a private person who was not connected to the race meet or the GHRA. Is this committee legal? Under whose auspices did the event take place, what were the rules that the meet was held under, what are the rules and the terms of reference of the committee. Who will they report to?
Meanwhile, the GHRA has stated that it’s not a part of the race meet and is not consulted so they could not pronounce on the activity.
A racing knowledgeable has stated, that what occurred on Oct. 12th is nothing compares to other infractions including doping. Doping in rampant and happens with impunity to animals which results in very short life span for horses. That is animal cruelty and should be part of any investigation.
Handlers openly inject horses with all kinds of illegal stuff and the animals die. All this is going on and no one seems to care or to have the authority to stop it.
While football and to a lesser extent cricket is being affect by sponsorship due to the many infringements and constant fighting, horseracing seems somehow capable of attracting sponsorship despite the many infractions.
The situation seems to be getting from bad to worst and the relevant authorities are urged to act now before a point of no return.
The Guyana Government however cannot escape their fair share of criticism since many copies of a horseracing legislation has been with the government over a decade.
The call is therefore being resonate for legislation now.
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