In the midst of his triumphant victory at the USVI Governor’s Cup in St. Thomas, Lesmore Smith, President of the BVI Horse Owners Association, has set his sights on a groundbreaking endeavour, the development of a new horse racing facility in the British Virgin Islands.

With the full backing of the Government of the Virgin Islands, Smith envisions the creation of a state-of-the-art racing facility that could rival the best in the region.

His ambition stems from the lamentable absence of horse racing in the BVI since August 2022 following the closure of the Ellis Thomas Downs Horse Race Track due to an ongoing fee dispute between the government and the Ellis Thomas Downs family. However, Smith’s recent triumph in St. Thomas, his fourth such victory on USVI soil, has ignited hope for a revival of the sport in the territory.

Speaking to local media following his win, Smith expressed confidence in his ability to lead the development of a new racing facility. He underscored the inadequacy of the current facility at Sea Cows Bay, Tortola, to match the standards set by the renowned Clinton E. Phipps Racetrack in St. Thomas.

Smith proposed the establishment of a new world-class facility on government-owned land on Beef Island, emphasizing the need for modern infrastructure to elevate the sport to international standards. Estimated to require approximately $2 million for completion, Smith said the project will need financial assistance from the government.

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley expressed openness to the proposal, contingent upon consultations with relevant stakeholders.