To the partners, sponsors, owners and staff of the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club and to the Community of Saint Lucia,
These are indeed challenging times. On behalf of the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club our thoughts are with each and every one of you. We understand there are challenges you may be facing personally and professionally right now. We know that for many of you, Covid-19 has directly impacted your lives or the lives of people important to you and we sincerely wish those who have become sick a speedy recovery and encourage all members of our community to remain vigilant and to support each other. Our thoughts also go out to all associated with DSH Caribbean Star Limited, our affiliate who is the Master Developer of the Pearl of the Caribbean, the nation-building project that we are so proud to be a part of.
On 15th March 2020 and ahead of the Government of Saint Lucia closing its borders, the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club took the proactive step of announcing that it was immediately postponing all race day and non-race day activities at our facility. While our Club continues to work hard to position itself as a ‘meeting place’, a ‘place of community’, the risk of these positive actions having a negative impact was simply too great to ignore. The responses received to our decision were unwaveringly positive and the Club thanks all of those who shared their thoughts.
Ongoing support for our staff and horses
Following this action, the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club has continued to work responsibly to meet its obligations. While our office staff are practising social distancing and working from home, some of our essential work cannot be carried out remotely. The Club has implemented a series of preventative health measures to protect these employees including security checkpoints to minimize preventable interaction and daily temperature checks for all staff.
However, the duty of care we have extends beyond the staff that are stationed at our track to all racehorses that are based here as well. On Friday 20th March, we implemented measures to lock down staff directly involved in all horse operations and to isolate these staff from the external population, including all staff and contractors not associated with horse operations. The horse operations staff from across all stables based at the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club have committed to ensuring the wellbeing of all horses at our facility remains the highest priority. The integrity of these isolation measures cannot be compromised. It protects the safety of all personnel involved as well as the wider community of Vieux Fort. To that end, we are working closely with police, security and community leaders to ensure that the directives issued by the Government of Saint Lucia and the World Health Organization (WHO) are adhered to and that Vieux Fort, a town we have committed to positively influencing, continues to benefit from our involvement.
In instituting these steps, it is not lost upon me that our Saint Lucian staff have chosen to meet these obligations knowingly and, in doing so, are isolating themselves from family and friends during stressful times. This commitment embodies the spirit of our Club and is wonderfully commendable.
Planning for the future
In concert with this, our management team is planning for the future. We are making upgrades to our facilities and improving some of our internal systems; we are working on making our race days more engaging; and on diversifying our facilities so that we are able to cater for more community and non-race day events. Unfortunately, in keeping with the advice of the WHO, we have had to postpone our next instalment of the Winston Trim Training Programme which had been scheduled for April. However, we do encourage all Saint Lucians interested in working with racehorses or in participating as a race day official to reach out to our Club on firstname.lastname@example.org. We will let you know when our programmes are rescheduled.
Our Partners and Sponsors
The support of our partners and sponsors is never lost on the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club. You have allowed us to ensure that our formative steps have been meaningful and positive and you have empowered us to believe in an exciting future, regardless of the current times. Please know that all commitments our Club has made to you will be honoured and we will continue to work with you to ensure your experiences with us are all you hope they can be.
To prospective partners and sponsors we encourage you to reach out to us to start a conversation at this time. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can work together creatively and supportively and to build long term relationships. We understand there are financial pressures on all businesses right now and can work with you to find solutions to your goals.
At this time, we continue to be reminded of how important community and relationships are. We can see the best of humanity when we work together during trying times. Qualities that we should not lose sight of this when the world overcomes this horrific disease.
There is more to life than horse racing. Each of you remain in our thoughts at this time. Look after yourselves, your families and your colleagues. Stay positive. Stay vigilant.