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The Funding Of An Additional Race Track and The

Absurdity Of The “Holy Few”
The question is posed as to where the money (J$3 billion) will come from to fund the
development of an additional race track. Firstly the funding of any major development
always bring with it funding challenges and this is why the country has invested in the
training of specialists in finance and banking; secondly, money pulls money, the greater
the sum invested in any given sector or geographical area, the more additional money is
pulled into that and other sectors of the given economy- make any major investment in
the development of tourism there follows investment in housing, retail, banking and
catering.

The building of Caymanas Park opened the door and stimulated the development of
the entire Portmore community as it exist today, the impact of Little Ascot on the
development of Old Harbour is still felt today, nearly fifty years after the closure of
that track. The Knutsford Track transformed entire areas of St. Andrew from being
sleepy agricultural villages and cow pens into what are today most vibrant wealth
generating and wealth holding communities.

The funding of a new track is firstly an issue for the investors in the racing industry, the
owners and breeders, the stud farm operators among others and less of an issue for
central government except in the case where it could be requested to provide land or
loan guarantees .

By using the “Time Share” method of financing, both the backstretch area and resort
complexes could be built. The prospect of having additional paying races in which enter
ones horses is in itself a stimulus for overseas foreign owners and or trainers to invest in
the construction of stables and the resort complex. The building of the actual track and
its facilities could be financed by means of the sale of shares and or bank guaranteed
bonds. The financing of simulcast and internet facilities could be financed by the sale of
rights to bookmakers, cable companies be they in Australia or in South Africa, in the
United States or in England, bookmakers seek new business opportunities equally as
cable companies seek new content and loads for carriage on their infrastructure.

The ability to raise funds for a J$3 billion project is largely dependent on the reputation
and experience of the project designers, the developers, the designers of the financial
instruments and the bond issuing bank or banks. Where the required skills and expertise
do not exist locally, it can be imported:- this would be the task of the local Jamaican
racing community and their representatives to ensure the mobilization and deployment of
the required skills, reputations and experience.

There is a “Holy Few” who are opposed to anything called betting, even where the
targeted markets are overseas. The truth is simple: - the days of “roving gangs” of men
moving from estate to estate in search of work are long gone, today is the day of the
“armed gangs” moving from victim to victim. The society and the leadership of
both sides of Parliament have a choice between creating enough wealth
so that the average person can cover his or her bills or build fortresses
for a few.

The Bible itself speaks of the nature of the man who cannot provide for his family and
least we forget it was the lack of food that caused the nation of Israel to become slaves
to the Egyptians, was it not for famine and the lack of food the nation of
Israel would not have entered through the gates of Egypt. To whom should
hunger lead us to sell our birth right?

Where-in this “Holy Few” has a problem with the further development of the racing
industry, then it is their duty to put forward suitable proposals as to what Jamaica should
be doing now to create jobs and incomes for its people. Short of that their holiness has
the same meaning as the word mischief and their intentions towards the average
Jamaican -evil. God himself picked corn on the Sabbath so that food could be provided,
any man who thinks of himself as being Holier than God is nothing but
a Devil in disguise.

Finally, if a horse that weighs 1000 lb requires two to three acres of pasture, it means
then that a stud farm with fifty brood mare and two stallions requires at least one hundred
and four acres of land- in short a nature reserve of 104 acres of land where endemic
Jamaican flora and fauna can flourish would have been established., while at the same
time contributing to a reduction of carbon dioxide pollution , since a quantity of the CO2
emissions would be taken up by the plants (or fodder) which is then consumed by the
horses, restarting the cycle of CO2 absorption.

Dirty firms such as the cement company, the JPS and the bauxite
mining companies should be given tax credits for each yearling
purchased and horses kept, as a way for compensating for their
emissions. Additional, if possible to take the approach of the former Minister of Mining
and Energy, The Hon. Phillip Paulwell, agreement could be sought with the European
Union on the purchase of horses from Jamaica as a specific form of green trading and
nature preservation.

Any of the two above measures adopted would further stimulate growth in the equine
breeding industry and contribute to the further development of horse racing in Jamaica.

Basil Fletcher