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Kaka Bouef To Host Return Of Traditional Horse Racing To The South

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Local enthusiasts are busy planning for the return of “traditional” horse racing to Vieux Fort to rekindle this popular sporting rivalry in the southern community—and most importantly, to help steer young people into participating in meaningful activity.

Organisers have scheduled October, 22 for the big event to take place on the Kaka Boeuf, Vieux Fort, and state that horse riders from across the country have shown keen interest in competing.

A spokesperson for the Southern Equestrian Association- the main organisers of the event said at least 27 jockeys with their respective horses have registered so far, and they anticipate that more competitors will enter the races.

Horse racing was last held at Vieux Fort in 2015 and the organisers are keen on reviving this 40-year tradition that has brought much joy and thrills to the community

“Local horse racing is a very long-standing tradition that is not new to Saint Lucians or local horse riders,” Marlan Biscette told  St. Lucia Times.

He said the DSH project that was initiated in 2016, by international investor Theo Ah King and the former United Workers Party (UWP) disrupted the event’s staging.

“It derailed us because the facility that we used for the past decade …we were more or less restricted from using it when they were building the road to facilitate the DSH project. The
Kaka Bouef or the Old Base was cordoned off and a lot of the debris from the construction works was dumped on the Kaka Bouef,” Biscette contended.

He said the Folk Research Centre (FRC) has endorsed the event as a “fringe activity” as part of this year’s Jounen Kweyol –Creole Heritage Month activities.

In addition, other corporate sector support has been provided to ensure a successful event.

Rayneau Construction is playing its part in a big way by preparing the venue.

Biscette notes that jockeys “from across the island all play a part in what is happening and will be participating in the event as well”.

He anticipates that at least six (6) races will be held on the day “as long as we get the appropriate numbers”.

Admitting that the Creole celebrations are a good launching pad for the event, he declared: “This is definitely what we are hoping for … and with the opportunity that we have been granted, it will be the beginning of a resurgence of local horse racing.”

Describing the Kaka Bouef as the “home” of horseracing on the island that has helped forge good relationships in the community, Biscette is optimistic that “after this event, we are
looking forward to hosting more of these activities in the future.”

Biscette said a few northern jockeys had been in Vieux Fort recently to assist in a sort of “Koudmain” (self-help) fashion, and also horse enthusiasts from Canaries helped with the task of preparing the strip for the races.

He noted that support from Rayneau Construction has been like a ‘blessing in disguise’ and the strip is now “in a better condition than it has ever been…and we were blessed with the assistance from Mr Rayneau.”

Whereas several requests for assistance from other persons were not forthcoming, they are pleased that Rayneau came forward to get the activity off the ground.

Acknowledging the timely intervention, he said, “His (Rayneau) assistance in the preparation of the ground (strip) has been instrumental in this activity becoming a reality for us.”

Biscette adds that Jolene – the owner of The Reef also rendered support for the activity “and she has been pushing for the event as a means of helping our young people to refocus their energies into something positive.”

He feels strongly that the activity has the ‘right vibes’ to help cut down on the gun violence and other criminal activity experienced by the southern town lately.

Notably, asserted Biscette: “The whole horse racing endeavour …the whole equine endeavour has been something that the youth in Vieux Fort traditionally have been very involved in”.

“And what we’re seeing is that from the time the whole horse racing initiative came to a halt, a lot of these youths who used to be riders and some actual horse owners … a lot of these youths have been distracted to the point that they have gone astray,” he added.

While noting that the Kaka Bouef was synonymous with horseracing in Vieux Fort and provided an avenue for the youth to keep out of trouble, Biscette said: “A lot of the youth who are involved or have become involved in criminal activity, these
guys are excellent riders and excellent horsemen. And some of them that are incarcerated right now maybe some of the best riders that Saint Lucia has ever produced…and this event which used to pull people from all across the community together that activity came to an abrupt halt.”

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Is the SLP government for Real ? What plans do these guys have to generate money for the country. Are they all about entertainment with Jazz, carnival and now local horse track or are they a group of guys to help the People of SLU. We had an international horse racing track in progress which would generate jobs, money and tourism. Those dudes actually made the people believe the worst thing that can ever happen in SLU. Today, they are putting a little local track which looks like a “MACACK TRACK” and trying to present it to the people. Is the government for Real ? Just asking for a friend.

  2. JACK in A Box stfu let the people do their thing maybe you’d prefer if they start firing their guns again.

  3. Flintstone era, this is what this want to be government wants us believing in. Southern Equestrian Alliance, i will ask you this, where are all the thoroughbred horses that once existed in Vieux-fort ? kaka Bouef era horse racing has gone, this type of racing was yesterdays news, we have come into a modern era with modern ways of doing things. Professional horse racing is what we deserve. Southern Equestrian Alliance are you telling me that i should not use modern restroom facities as well. The jockeys you are speaking about are their getting paid, or their are taking one for the team.

  4. I hope you all have universal healthcare for the jockeys..They ban hypocrite that is the job you all have for vieux fort people Kenny mussa san honte hypocrite I thought horses before hospitals

  5. Ok St.lucia times, since you don’t want to post my first comment. I’ll edit it. What a comical country two hospitals one red one yellow, two horse racing track one red one yellow two Richard Frederick, two Stephenson king. If vieux Fort has enough land space we will have two airports. SLU is not a real place.

  6. Yeaaaah let the people enjoy themselves it’s Jounen Kweyol time again IT’S A LOCAL CELEBRATION OF ST LUCIA’S CULTURE, LANGUAGE, ART, AND CUISINE. It’s not CHURCH HILL DOWNS OR THE KENTUCKY DERBY for the stiff upper lippers who never identify with anything Kweyol and are of the belief this should be like THE FAILED inspirations of international racing by the head clown of The UWP. This is the sort of “local” events tourist would be more inclined to see rather than that of an international event, tourist are more interested in cultural affairs.

  7. This government is sique and its leader comparable to Joseph Biden in the USA. Never thought the the SLP with sooo many degreed ministers would have had such a dismal performance in government. These guys are not fit to lead and I hope Saint Lucians recognize that before it is too late.

    There is a racetrack in Vieux Fort, what prevents the SLP government from partnering with its owners to host the local race? But no! Allow it to go to ruins instead since it was not built with the endorsement of the SLP. Same thing with the St. Jude Hospital, the government buildings remember they refused to occupy it when it was newly built, the Rodney Bay Marina, the Tunnel- remember tunnel vision?, the joining of Pigeon Island to the mainland, the Roseau Dam, the relocating of the Druceville residents and last but not least, independence – can you believe that. This government’s place should definitely be in perpetual opposition.

  8. I thought the SLP in opposition said that it was tax payers and passport money that built the racetrack. Then it belongs to St Lucia. Why then must a new racetrack be built. Especially one that is worthless and a recipe for disaster.

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